imperial

adjective
im·​pe·​ri·​al | \ im-ˈpir-ē-əl \

Definition of imperial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, befitting, or suggestive of an empire or an emperor
b(1) : of or relating to the United Kingdom as distinguished from the constituent parts
(2) : of or relating to the Commonwealth of Nations and British Empire
3 : of superior or unusual size or excellence
4 : belonging to the official British series of weights and measures — see Weights and Measures Table

imperial

noun

Definition of imperial (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : an adherent or soldier of the Holy Roman emperor
2 : emperor
3 : a pointed beard growing below the lower lip
4 : something of unusual size or excellence

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from imperial

Adjective

imperially \ im-​ˈpir-​ē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of imperial in a Sentence

Adjective

a member of the imperial family envisioned an imperial city that would rival the capitals of Europe for beauty and magnificence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

As evidenced by the history of the Banana Wars, the United States has long considered Latin America a subordinate part of its imperial domain. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 2019 The inn, which has 21 guest rooms and 18 suites, is housed in the Kan’in-no-miya imperial family’s former summer retreat. Jessica Flint, WSJ, "A Discerning Vacationer’s Guide to Escaping from Tokyo," 6 Dec. 2018 At the time, Rome’s four emperors—a ruling group called the Tetrarchy—were fighting among themselves for greater shares of imperial power, and the Imperial Horse Guard staunchly supported Emperor Maxentius. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists map centuries of history beneath world’s oldest cathedral," 30 Nov. 2018 Anderson served in the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, and was soon engulfed in fighting in the northern part of the country, near the ancient imperial capital of Hue. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "The men killed on a single, bloody day in Vietnam, and the haunting wall that memorializes them," 25 May 2018 How differently imperial Rome or Ancient Greece would have settled the problem. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Did Chivalry Go Down With the Titanic?," 14 Dec. 2018 The Founders release that gets the most attention, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (12.3% ABV), is a bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout made with chocolate and coffee. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Founders debuts year-round beer aged in bourbon barrels," 5 Apr. 2018 The French national anthem, the Russian imperial anthem, the little Russian folk song – telling the story through music. Chris Varias, Cincinnati.com, "John Morris Russell blew out his speakers with this song," 16 Jan. 2018 Rich imperial stouts sooth away those final snow storms, and Guinness practically runs in the streets of any town feeling the teeniest bit Irish. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "Why Stouts Are Much More Than Just a St. Patrick's Day Tradition," 16 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The seasoning is a must for steamed crabs and perfect for crab cakes, crab imperials, and the like. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "The care and handling of crab cakes," 12 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of imperial

Adjective

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

Noun

circa 1524, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imperial

Adjective

Middle English imperial, emperiall, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French emperial, imperiall, borrowed from Latin imperiālis "of the Roman emperor," from imperium "supreme administrative authority, power exercised by a Roman emperor" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at empire

Noun

derivative of imperial entry 1, probably after Middle French imperiaux (plural); (sense 3) translation of French impériale

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about imperial

Statistics for imperial

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imperial

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for imperial

imperial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of imperial

: of or relating to an empire or an emperor

imperial

adjective
im·​pe·​ri·​al | \ im-ˈpir-ē-əl \

Kids Definition of imperial

: of or relating to an empire or its ruler the imperial palace

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on imperial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imperial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imperial

Spanish Central: Translation of imperial

Nglish: Translation of imperial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imperial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on imperial

What made you want to look up imperial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!