imprimatur

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

Definition of imprimatur

1a : a license to print or publish especially by Roman Catholic episcopal authority
b : approval of a publication under circumstances of official censorship
b : imprint
c : a mark of approval or distinction

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Synonyms & Antonyms for imprimatur

Synonyms

approbation, approval, blessing, favor, OK (or okay)

Antonyms

disapprobation, disapproval, disfavor

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Did You Know?

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

The coloring book has the imprimatur of Zappa’s family. Michael Schaub, latimes.com, "Frank Zappa coloring book to be released by L.A. publisher this fall," 27 June 2019 The art is almost all Puryear’s, and now his dealer will probably sell it, with the nice, fresh, shiny Biennale imprimatur burnishing it and its price. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The American Pavilion in the Venice Biennale: Safe and Sorry," 10 Aug. 2019 For discerning food-lovers in search of the good stuff, Sachs’ imprimatur goes a long way. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "With S.A.L.T., Silversea Is Completely Rewriting How Cruises Do Food," 18 July 2019 The idea is that the value of the new money is derived not from the imprimatur of any state but from a combination of mathematics, global connectedness, and the trust that resides in the world’s biggest social network. That’s the plan, anyway. John Lanchester, The New Yorker, "The Invention of Money," 29 July 2019 With sky-high approval ratings in his own party, Mr. Trump’s imprimatur at an arena packed with thousands of energetic voters can help build momentum for Republican hopefuls. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "‘Never In My Wildest Dreams’: GOP Candidates Find Key to Winning Trump’s Strong Praise," 4 Aug. 2018 Trump's weakness The president's imprimatur loomed large last term, when the conservative wing reversed lower courts and upheld his immigration ban on travelers from five predominantly Muslim countries. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court in transition: Conservatives ascendant but Roberts, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh prove unpredictable," 19 June 2019 Once upon a time, Franzen balked at going on television and accepting Oprah Winfrey’s imprimatur. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 The Academy itself gives its imprimatur to another story. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "How Did the Academy Award Become the ‘Oscar’?," 22 Feb. 2019

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 1a

History and Etymology for imprimatur

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

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for imprimatur

The first known use of imprimatur was in 1640

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More Definitions for imprimatur

imprimatur

noun

English Language Learners Definition of imprimatur

formal : official approval

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