empire

noun
em·​pire | \ ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r How to pronounce empire (audio) \

Definition of empire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority especially : one having an emperor as chief of state
(2) : the territory of such a political unit
b : something resembling a political empire especially : an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control
2 : imperial sovereignty, rule, or dominion
3 capitalized [ Empire State, nickname for New York ] : a juicy apple with dark red skin that is a cross between a McIntosh apple and a Red Delicious apple

Empire

adjective
Em·​pire | \ ˈäm-ˌpir How to pronounce Empire (audio) , ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r How to pronounce Empire (audio) \

Definition of Empire (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of a style (as of clothing or furniture) popular in early 19th century France

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Synonyms for empire

Synonyms: Noun

conglomerate

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Examples of empire in a Sentence

Noun

She built a tiny business into a worldwide empire. He controlled a cattle empire in the heart of Texas.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This reinterpretation of Roth’s novel is one instance of a widespread interest in the art and style of the old Habsburg empire. The Economist, "Habsburg culture is back in vogue," 21 June 2018 View this post on Instagram 💕 The Triplets 💕 A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Sep 14, 2018 at 4:53pm PDT Chi, Stormi, and True will probably frame this picture and hang it in the headquarters of their future business empire. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian Shares Picture of "Triplets" Chicago, Stormi, and True," 15 Sep. 2018 Forbes has estimated the family's holdings at $5.5 billion and their budding hotel empire has ties to the Ritz-Carlton chain, a rival to the Trump Organization for the affection of wealthy and business travelers. CBS News, "Family in charge of hotel hosting summit shares Trump-like ambition," 9 June 2018 Though Virgin Galactic will eventually serve as the space-tourism arm of CEO Richard Branson's aerospace empire, SpaceShipTwo was ferrying four payloads from NASA, meant to collect data to be used in the space agency's future missions. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Galactic Completes Successful Flight in Big Boost for Space Tourism," 13 Dec. 2018 Having returned and teamed up with Penelope, Claudius now stands to inherit his brother's drug trafficking empire. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "The Best "Riverdale" Season 3 Fan Theories, According to Reddit," 1 Oct. 2018 As an exceptional earner, Britney has one of the biggest perfume empires in history, celebrity or otherwise. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "Britney Spears Talks to Allure About the Inspiration Behind Her Latest Perfume, Prerogative," 18 July 2018 PAX Unplugged, the tabletop board gaming conference that emerged from the PAX video game conference empire, took place in Philadelphia last week. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Eight great board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 8 Dec. 2018 His tenure took place during a rapidly changing world: the end of the Cold War, the dissolution of the Communist empire, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the resignation of Russia’s president, Mikhail Gorbachev. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "President George H. W. Bush Has Died At Age 94," 1 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empire.' 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 empire

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adjective

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for empire

Noun

Middle English, "supreme power, position of an emperor, territory under an emperor's rule," borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin imperium "authority over family members and slaves exercised by the head of a household, supreme administrative authority, dominion, power exercised by a Roman emperor," from imperāre "to give orders, exercise authority, hold political power" + -ium, deverbal suffix of function or state — more at emperor

Adjective

French, from (le premier) Empire the first Empire of France

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Statistics for empire

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for empire

The first known use of empire was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for empire

empire

noun
em·​pire | \ ˈem-ˌpīr How to pronounce empire (audio) \

Kids Definition of empire

1 : a group of territories or peoples under one ruler the Roman empire
2 : a country whose ruler is called an emperor

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More from Merriam-Webster on empire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for empire

Spanish Central: Translation of empire

Nglish: Translation of empire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of empire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about empire

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