roy·​al | \ ˈrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce royal (audio) \

Definition of royal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of kingly ancestry the royal family
b : of, relating to, or subject to the crown the royal estates
c : being in the crown's service Royal Air Force
2a : suitable for royalty : magnificent
b : requiring no exertion : easy there is no royal road to logic— Justus Buchler
3a : of superior size, magnitude, or quality a patronage of royal dimensions— J. H. Plumb often used as an intensive a royal pain
b : established or chartered by the crown
4 : of, relating to, or being a part (such as a mast, sail, or yard) next above the topgallant



Definition of royal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person of royal blood
2 : a small sail on the royal mast immediately above the topgallant sail
3 : a stag of 8 years or more having antlers with at least 12 points

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Synonyms for royal

Synonyms: Adjective

kingly, monarchal (or monarchial), monarchical (also monarchic), princely, queenly, regal

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Examples of royal in a Sentence


They received a royal welcome as they stepped off the plane. the school superintendent received a royal welcome


magazine stories about the private lives of royals
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Eugenie has also given fans a way to get a taste of her royal wedding in the non-digital world. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie Just Changed Her Instagram Profile Photo to a New Image from Her Wedding," 4 Apr. 2019 Visitors to nearby Legolandm as well as those exploring Denmark's historic roots in Jelling, the royal seat of Harald Bluetooth, will be able to see the country's latest seat of power towering in the distance. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Giant Skyscraper in Rural Denmark Will Be Seen For Miles," 2 Apr. 2019 After greeting the dancers, the royal couple watched a performance blending classical, modern and traditional Cuban dance. Michael Weissenstein, The Seattle Times, "Prince Charles, Camilla tour Old Havana on royal visit," 25 Mar. 2019 From their first meeting to their idyllic African getaway to the royal wedding itself, here are the biggest moments of the couple’s fairy-tale romance. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Love Story: A Timeline," 22 Mar. 2019 The Duchess of Sussex became the royal patron of several organizations earlier this year, including The Mayhew which has benefited from charitable donations. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Hashtag in Meghan Markle's Honor Has Helped Raise Charitable Donations All Over the World," 30 Mar. 2019 Grace Kelly famously wore a fragrance from Creed, a royal favorite since 1780, to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "6 Royal-Worn Perfumes That Are Fit for Non-Princesses Too," 30 Mar. 2019 But, as royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl revealed in her book Kate: The Future Queen, Will made a point not to give away too much. Marie Claire, "Prince William Learned This Important Lesson About the Press from Princess Diana," 30 Mar. 2019 But at the very beginning of the series, then-naïve Sansa was infatuated — perhaps even in love — with Joffrey and his royal status. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Sophie Turner Pretended Joffrey Was Justin Bieber in Game of Thrones, Season 1," 27 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Read the royals' full message below: Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry Respond to the Tragic Shootings in New Zealand," 15 Mar. 2019 Carolina Herrera is one of the royals' standby designers; earlier this week, Meghan Markle wore a Herrera gown for a formal meeting with the King of Morocco. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Gets Sporty in a Barbour Jacket, Ralph Lauren Sweater, and Sneakers," 27 Feb. 2019 Next to Harry, who wore a half-zip gray sweater and blue jeans, the young royals dressed in the perfect look for any brisk day. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle Wore All Black in Australia the Day She Announced Her Pregnancy," 15 Oct. 2018 Most of the royals' engagement rings have fascinating stories behind them, and Queen Elizabeth's sparkler is no different. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Prince Philip's Family Made a Huge Sacrifice for Queen Elizabeth's Engagement Ring," 25 Aug. 2018 With historical fiction, particularly an era so flush with royals and revolutionaries, there is a danger in getting lost in details and shortchanging character development. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Empress Maria heads juicy Russian cast in historical novel about the Romanovs," 12 July 2018 As royal watchers certainly know by now, Markle is famous for bringing the messy bun into the British royals' hair stylebook. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Meghan Markle Debuted a Very Royal Ponytail at Prince Louis's Christening," 10 July 2018 Sources close to the royals have said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to welcome their child in the iconic hospital. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Will Meghan Markle Give Birth in the Lindo Wing?," 23 Mar. 2019 The national museum building itself was built by a slave trader who handed it to the Portuguese royals who fled Napoleon. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "A Symbol of Brazil’s Indifference to History," 7 Sep. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for royal


Middle English roial, from Anglo-French real, roial, from Latin regalis, from reg-, rex king; akin to Old Irish (genitive rīg) king, Sanskrit rājan, Latin regere to rule — more at right

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Statistics for royal

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for royal

The first known use of royal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for royal



English Language Learners Definition of royal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a king or queen
used in names of organizations that are supported by or that serve a king or queen
: suitable for a king or queen : elaborate or impressive



English Language Learners Definition of royal (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : a member of a royal family


roy·​al | \ ˈrȯi-əl How to pronounce royal (audio) \

Kids Definition of royal

1 : of or relating to a king or queen : regal a royal wedding
2 : fit for a king or queen We gave the team a royal welcome.

Other Words from royal

royally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on royal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with royal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for royal

Spanish Central: Translation of royal

Nglish: Translation of royal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of royal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on royal

What made you want to look up royal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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