im·​pri·​ma·​tur | \ ˌim-prə-ˈmä-ˌtu̇r How to pronounce imprimatur (audio) , im-ˈpri-mə-ˌtu̇r How to pronounce imprimatur (audio) , -ˌtyu̇r \

Definition of imprimatur

b : imprint
c : a mark of approval or distinction
2a : a license to print or publish especially by Roman Catholic episcopal authority
b : approval of a publication under circumstances of official censorship

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Synonyms & Antonyms for imprimatur



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Imprimatur means "let it be printed" in New Latin. It comes from Latin imprimere, meaning to "imprint" or "impress." In the 1600s, the word appeared in the front matter of books, accompanied by the name of an official authorizing the book's printing. It was also in the 1600s that English speakers began using imprimatur in the general sense of "official approval." The Roman Catholic Church still issues imprimaturs for books concerned with religious matters (to indicate that a work contains nothing offensive to Catholic morals or faith), and there have been other authorities for imprimaturs as well. For example, when Samuel Pepys was president of the Royal Society, he placed his imprimatur on the title page of England's great scientific work, Sir Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, in 1687.

Examples of imprimatur in a Sentence

He gave the book his imprimatur. could not begin the project without the boss's imprimatur
Recent Examples on the Web Kathryn Garcia, who resigned in protest as de Blasio’s sanitation commissioner to run, has emerged as the queen of the newspaper endorsements after winning the imprimatur of The New York Times and the Daily News. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 28 May 2021 The ambitions of this new Silicon Valley venture into health care are backed by the imprimatur of health-tech luminaries, including 23andMe co-founder and Orchid investor Anne Wojcicki. Laura Hercher, Scientific American, 12 July 2021 In her team’s 2004 book, Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shooting Newman speculated that doors may have opened for her team because of its double Congress/Harvard imprimatur. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Conversely, however, Trump’s imprimatur has done little to discourage unendorsed candidates, even those strongly supportive of Trump, from continuing to seek the same offices. Author: Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, 27 June 2021 The task force’s report, however, would have the imprimatur of the intelligence community, and its very existence was hard to square with charges of hobbyism. Gideon Lewis-krau, The New Yorker, 26 June 2021 But experts who track vaccine misinformation worry the imprimatur of VAERS gives misleading claims a sheen of credibility. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, 26 May 2021 But you’ve been heavily criticized for a report that came from WHO, with its imprimatur, saying the lab hypothesis is extremely unlikely. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, 18 June 2021 The exposure, and the MoMA imprimatur, helped launch influential firms like SHoP Architects and WORKac. New York Times, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imprimatur.' 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 imprimatur

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for imprimatur

New Latin, let it be printed, from imprimere to print, from Latin, to imprint, impress — more at impress entry 1

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The first known use of imprimatur was in 1640

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imprimatur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of imprimatur

formal : official approval

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