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

There, under Catherine’s absolute authority, any potential imperial ambitions could be quashed. National Geographic, "This 'pretender princess' tried to steal Catherine the Great's throne," 6 Aug. 2019 The Spessart Museum in von Erthal’s birthplace of Lohr am Main notes that after the death of Sophia’s mother, her father married Claudia Elisabeth Maria von Venningen, the imperial countess of Reichenstein. Fox News, "'Snow White' gravestone surfaces in Germany," 6 Aug. 2019 A month earlier, South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled in the first of a series of cases awarding compensation from Japanese companies to victims conscripted as forced labor during Japan’s imperial expansion before and during World War II. New York Times, "As Japan and South Korea Feud Intensifies, U.S. Seems Unwilling, or Unable, to Help," 4 Aug. 2019 The company traces the chairs’ history back to imperial audiences granted during the Song Dynasty, almost a thousand years ago, when floor-mats and stools gave way to chairs. The Economist, "Why Chinese officials like useless meetings in over-stuffed chairs," 1 Aug. 2019 In the film, Xerxes I, king of kings, leads a Persian imperial army of a thousand nations to conquer Greece. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019 The Sidama have a history of distinct administrative existence dating back to imperial days. Yonatan Fessha, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia is facing mounting tensions as an ethnic minority community demands secession," 31 July 2019 Staff are equally obliged to use imperial measurements, and a double space after a full stop is imperative. Matthew Robinson, CNN, "Arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg issues stringent style guide to staff," 27 July 2019 America’s regime-change wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen would be recognized as imperial hubris, and anyone involved in their promotion exiled from future positions in Republican administrations. John Burtka Iv, Twin Cities, "John Burtka: Under Trump, a very different agenda for conservatives emerges," 25 July 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

11 Aug 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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