imperial

adjective
im·​pe·​ri·​al | \ im-ˈpir-ē-əl How to pronounce imperial (audio) \

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

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Other Words from imperial

Adjective

imperially \ im-​ˈpir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce imperially (audio) \ 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

To get the Russian ruler back in line, Napoleon led the Grande Armée across the Nieman River into Russia's imperial territory in June of 1812. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Remains of Napoleonic General Believed to Have Been Found in Russian Park," 12 July 2019 Britons once sweetened their drink with slave-grown Caribbean sugar, and the ghosts of imperial commerce lend a bitter tang to several contemporary artworks here. B.t., The Economist, "The ambivalent history of the Camellia sinensis leaf," 10 July 2019 Simply put, the Romanovs were the last imperial dynasty to rule Russia. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Dramatic True Story Of Russia's Last Dynasty, The Romanovs," 5 July 2019 Streamliner has been criticized on Reddit for its logo, which some believe resembles Germany’s imperial flag, a symbol that the Anti-Defamation League said is used to express anti-Semitism. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "New Reno-Phoenix bus service leaves trail of discriminatory rules, chaotic planning," 3 July 2019 Iacocca did little to dispel his imperial reputation. Charlotte W. Craig, Detroit Free Press, "Lee Iacocca dies: Father of Mustang, rescuer of Chrysler was 94," 2 July 2019 The show will be the veteran four-man band's first stadium concert in over 30 years, and the first concert by any act to be held at the stadium since the new Reiwa imperial era began May 1. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Veteran J-Pop Band Anzenchitai Announces First Stadium Show in 30 Years," 19 June 2019 In late May, the American president visited for the imperial succession of Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Trump heads to the G-20, and Japan braces for impact," 27 June 2019 Which is to say, what conservatives want is the rule of law, rather than imperial bureaucracy. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Inching Back toward the Rule of Law," 23 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for imperial

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for imperial

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

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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 How to pronounce imperial (audio) \

Kids Definition of imperial

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

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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

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