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

Despite the restaurant upstairs and doorman below, this feels like having your very own living space overlooking medieval San Teodoro and the Palatine Hill—a privileged, secret location amid the ruins and rooftops of imperial and papal Rome. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "These 6 European Apartments Are Basically Private Design Hotels," 23 Aug. 2019 At the time of deal, imperial Japan was fighting the Soviet Union on the Manchurian-Mongolian border. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: The bad deal that led directly to the start of World War II," 15 Aug. 2019 But consider: Keller holds a total of seven Michelin stars across his now-imperial restaurant portfolio — two within blocks of each other in Yountville. Washington Post, "How a world-class chef blossomed in Napa Valley: The French Laundry turns 25," 3 July 2019 But for a host of reasons—for example, the overvaluation of the pound and several other key currencies, and the decline of Britain as an imperial power—the gold standard failed to deliver the stability of the earlier era. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The quiet campaign to reinstate the gold standard is getting louder," 3 July 2019 This sort of imperial power is always at the elbow of a sitting president. Ed Burmila, The New Republic, "If Trump wanted to give himself sweeping new powers, could anyone stop him?," 13 June 2019 From the mid-19th century, the Himalayas were part of the Great Game, a race for territory and control between the imperial powers of Britain and Russia. Ipsita Chakravarty, Quartz India, "How colonialism cost the Himalayas their remoteness," 10 June 2019 Japan’s emperor had gone from a largely symbolic role to one with direct imperial power. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Learn about the history—and future—of the Japanese monarchy," 29 Apr. 2019 Researchers found that fluctuations in the lead measurements matched historical records of changes in European metal production related to wars, epidemics and imperial expansion. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Ancient Ice Reveals Insights Into Roman Empire," 1 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

8 Sep 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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