empire

noun
em·pire | \ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r \

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, ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r \

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

In comparison to his counterparts in Britain and France, King Leopold II of Belgium was a relative latecomer to empire-building, founding Congo as a colony in the late 19th century. New York Times, "Belgium Honors Congolese Leader It Helped Overthrow," 30 June 2018 As Kelly has receded from some of the managerial aspects of his job, a series of fiefs and empire-building efforts have sprouted in the areas of trade and national security. BostonGlobe.com, "Exhausted aides of a chaotic president eye White House exits," 11 June 2018 As Kelly has receded from some of the managerial aspects of his job, a series of fiefs and empire-building efforts have sprouted in the areas of trade and national security. Anchorage Daily News, "Exhausted aides of a chaotic president eye White House exits," 11 June 2018 As Kelly has receded from some of the managerial aspects of his job, a series of fiefs and empire-building efforts have sprouted in the areas of trade and national security. Katie Rogers, The Seattle Times, "‘Drama, action, emotional power’: As exhausted aides eye exits, Trump re-energized," 10 June 2018 Hopkinson’s analysis focuses on the crossroads where two legacies meet: art created in response to white oppression and one of empire-building and their profiteers. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "How does one respond to racist, xenophobic populism? Art plays a part, says Natalie Hopkinson.," 25 Apr. 2018 Both President Trump and the Crown Prince are clear opponents of Iran’s efforts at empire building in the region. Jonathan Spyer, The New Republic, "What a Crown Prince Wants," 20 Mar. 2018 And back at his own business empire, Mr. Musk is spread alarmingly thin. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Tesla’s Musk Needs to Find His Mary Barra," 13 July 2018 Over the next week, the nation’s moguls will play golf, go white-water rafting, attend breakout sessions, and make decisions about the future of their respective media empires. Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "Billionaire summer camp begins in Sun Valley," 11 July 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

14 Oct 2018

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 \

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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Comments on empire

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one that holds something together

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