emperor

noun
em·​per·​or | \ ˈem-pər-ər , -prər\

Definition of emperor

: the sovereign or supreme male monarch of an empire

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Other Words from emperor

emperorship \ ˈem-​pər-​ər-​ˌship , -​prər-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

The words emperor, caesar, czar, and Kaiser all go back to one source: the title of the first Roman emperor, Imperator Caesar Augustus. Augustus was the adopted son of the Roman general and ruler Julius Caesar and he took the name Caesar as part of his official name. Later Roman emperors did the same, and thus caesar came to mean “an emperor of Rome.” The word caesar was borrowed into German and other Germanic languages as Kaiser, which is how we get the word kaiser for “a ruler in Germany.” Through the Russian word tsar, which also came from kaiser, we got our word czar, meaning “a ruler in Russia.” The word emperor can be traced through French to Latin imperator. Imperator was a title given to great Roman generals and meant “commander,” from the verb imperare “to command.”

Examples of emperor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Successive emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) failed, however, to limit the number of notes in circulation or to back the money with gold or silver specie. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The High Cost of Financial Panics," 10 Jan. 2019 The lower middle class in Western and Asian industrialized societies today has a higher living standard than the pope and the emperors of a few centuries back, in every dimension. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Human history, in one chart," 8 Nov. 2018 When the dust settled—rebels crushed, a new emperor crowned—Li Po was arrested as a criminal. Yunte Huang, WSJ, "‘The Banished Immortal’ Review: ‘Heaven Begot a Talent Like Me’," 11 Jan. 2019 This is where every emperor—and his family and staff—lived from 1420, when the 7.8-million-square-foot, 980-building compound was finished, until 1912, when the Qing dynasty went out with a whimper. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 Learning a new keyboard layout is an alpha-nerd pursuit right up there with planning out your own D&D campaigns (guilty) and painting Warhammer 40K figurines (death to the false emperor!), and the popular reasons for doing so are fittingly geeky. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why I'm Learning To Type All Over Again," 25 Apr. 2016 He was awarded the Order of Culture from Akihito, the emperor of Japan, in 2008. Harrison Smith, The Seattle Times, "Osamu Shimomura, atomic blast survivor and Nobel-winning chemist, dies at 90," 23 Oct. 2018 That sentiment was shared by a royal visitor to London a century ago — Prince Fushimi, cousin to the emperor of Japan. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Young Victorian Theatre Co. approaches 'Mikado' mindful of controversy," 6 July 2018 The last chancellor of Weimar Germany sat in a Rococo palace in Berlin; the last emperor of China was installed on a puppet throne in Manchukuo. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Picasso in 1932: Ingenious, Exhausting, Relentless," 2 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emperor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of emperor

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emperor

Middle English emperour, borrowed from Anglo-French empereor, amperour, going back to Latin imperātōr-, imperātor "person giving orders, commanding officer, title of honor bestowed on a victorious general by his troops, title conferred by the Roman senate on Julius Caesar and Augustus and adopted by later successors," from imperāre "to demand the production of, levy, give orders, exercise authority, hold political power" (from im- in- entry 2 + parāre "to supply, provide, make ready") + -tōr-, -tor, agent suffix — more at pare

Note: See note at pare.

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Statistics for emperor

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for emperor

The first known use of emperor was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for emperor

emperor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of emperor

: a man who rules an empire

emperor

noun
em·​per·​or | \ ˈem-pər-ər \

Kids Definition of emperor

: a man who rules an empire

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