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

This imperial 17th- and 18th-century palace, with its famed ballroom frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, had fallen into dereliction by the mid 20th century, when it was bought by the deep-pocketed aesthete Carlos de Bestegui. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Peter Marino and the Venetian Heritage Hosted a Gilded Dinner to Celebrate All Things Venice," 10 Apr. 2019 Christian basilicas cannibalize the column capitals from pagan temples; gardens planted in the 16th century spread among the ruins of imperial palaces. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018 Among them was self-identified Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard Richard Preston, who is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for pointing a pistol toward Long and firing, hitting the dirt. Fox News, "Counterprotester who used flamethrower during Charlottesville rally appeals conviction," 21 Aug. 2018 To survive, the alliance needs to become less imperial and more democratic. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Nissan Counts the Costs of Ghosn," 12 Feb. 2019 America remains an outlier holding on to the old imperial, or U.S. customary system, of pounds and acres when the rest of the world has largely shifted to the metric system of kilograms and hectares. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "What Exactly Is a Bushel? The Question Turns People Into Basket Cases," 18 Dec. 2018 The new governments, republican in most cases, imperial down in Rio, set out to remake their colonial capitals with new national parliaments and federal ministries. Jason Farago, New York Times, "How Latin America Was Built, Before Modernism Came Along," 18 Apr. 2018 As the Queen of England during Britain's imperial height, Queen Victoria inspired the title of everything from lakes and mountains to cities across what was then the empire. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "15 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Queen Victoria," 8 Jan. 2019 His account of the great imperial hydraulic project is impressive in its detailing of logistical obstacles, political opposition, bean counters’ bleatings and clashes of engineers’ egos. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "‘Unruly Waters’ and ‘Ganges’ Review: In India, Water Is Politics," 4 Jan. 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

19 May 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

Comments on imperial

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