emperor

noun
em·​per·​or | \ ˈem-pər-ər How to pronounce emperor (audio) , -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 How to pronounce emperorship (audio) , -​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

The novel’s hero is Genji, a son of the emperor who possesses unmatched beauty and charm. Emily Ferguson, WSJ, "The Legacy of a Japanese Classic," 22 Feb. 2019 Lead emissions rose in periods of peace and prosperity, such as the Pax Romana, which ran from 27 BC to 180 A.D. and dropped during the civil wars that preceded the Pax and the rise to power of the emperor Augustus. New York Times, "An Ice Core Reveals the Economic Health of the Roman Empire," 14 May 2018 The once-triumphant ruler, in the guise of a Roman emperor, lies supine in the street as the revolutionaries of the Paris Commune pose over their destructive handiwork. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘MONUMENTality’ Review: How the Mighty Have Fallen," 26 Dec. 2018 Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire] Şahin believes that the basilica was dedicated to St. Neophytos, who was put to death in Nicea by the Romans in A.D. 303, during the reign of the emperor Diocletian. Tom Metcalfe, Fox News, "Ancient church hidden in Turkish lake and a Pagan temple may lie beneath it," 6 Sep. 2018 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

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 Mar 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 How to pronounce emperor (audio) \

Kids Definition of emperor

: a man who rules an empire

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