roy·​al | \ ˈrȯi(-ə)l \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from royal


royally \ ˈrȯi-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for royal

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

We've been blessed with SO many royal engagements in 2019! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Just Wore the Most Perfect Work-Appropriate Look," 13 Feb. 2019 That's why the Duchess of Sussex recently became the royal patron of Smart Works, a UK charity that helps women return to work by offering them coaching and professional clothes to improve their confidence. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This $20 Meghan Markle Look-Alike Dress Has Over 1,000 Rave Reviews," 11 Feb. 2019 And come the Chelsea Flower Show in May, everyone will get a slice of royal country life. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Is Designing an Amazing Garden," 11 Feb. 2019 In fact, Her Majesty would spend months apart from her infant son because of travel and royal obligations, which was made even more complicated by the fact that Philip (then an officer in the Royal Navy) was stationed in Malta in the late 1940s. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Message Features a Rare Prince Charles Photo," 25 Dec. 2018 The duchess also wore the piece during her first royal tour with Prince Harry, while the pair were visiting Sydney in Australia. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Wore Princess Diana's Bracelet & We Almost Missed It," 16 Jan. 2019 As the royal babe's due date approaches, Meghan is overseeing the renovations on their home at Frogmore, which could cost up to £5 million (roughly $6.4 million) to complete. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Prefer Cotswolds Farmhouse To Nottingham Cottage," 10 Jan. 2019 For her and Prince Harry's royal tour of Ireland in 2018, the Duchess wore a pair of stunning yellow drop earrings from Birks at a reception. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Top 5 Favorite Jewelry Brands of All Time," 2 Jan. 2019 The story is about a concubine of Grenada’s royal court, Fatima, and her friend Hassan, the court’s cartographer. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The royal said that part of the appeal of the hobby was the anonymity that came with riding around with his face obscured by his helmet. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William's Motorcycling Hobby "Frightened the Life Out of" Queen Elizabeth," 18 Feb. 2019 Eventually, the royals filed an injunction to stop the show. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Scandalous Etchings of Queen Victoria that Inspired Tonight's Episode of Victoria," 18 Feb. 2019 Since marrying Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s wardrobe has taken a turn for the royal. Anna Millard,, "Yes, You've Seen Meghan Markle's Wimbledon Hat Before," 14 July 2018 While visiting the bridge, the royals were introduced to architects, planners and community representatives before watching a performance by local schoolchildren. Lauren Said-moorhouse, CNN, "Meghan Markle joins the Queen for joint royal outing," 14 June 2018 Both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were visibly excited to be speaking with the tiny royal fans: The royals also took the time to watch the Young Company perform in Bristol Old Vic. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Asking for Parenting Advice Is the Sweetest Thing You'll Watch All Day," 1 Feb. 2019 Just as Saint-Tropez draws jetsetters each summer, chic Marrakshis and Casablancais still mimic the royals in August, descending on the under-the-radar surf town that’s quickly becoming the Montauk of Morocco. Lane Nieset, Vogue, "After Marrakech, Go to Oualidia, the Montauk of Morocco," 30 Jan. 2019 The Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, pointing to messages the young royal exchanged with a close adviser who is suspected of having led the operation. WSJ, "Year of Living Dangerously With Friends and Foes," 17 Dec. 2018 The royals have released yet another unbearably adorable photo for the world to see. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Prince Charles 70th Birthday Photos Reunite Royal Family," 14 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about royal

Statistics for royal

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for royal

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!