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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for royal

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of royal in a Sentence

Adjective They received a royal welcome as they stepped off the plane. the school superintendent received a royal welcome Noun magazine stories about the private lives of royals
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Annual royal court community honorees are Dr. Wilma Wooten, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Jacqueline Jackson and Mardell Matthews. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Kuumba Fest returns next weekend as a virtual event," 21 Feb. 2021 Prince Charles and wife Duchess Camilla ventured out for their first in-person royal engagement of 2021 to thank COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Prince Charles, Camilla make first in-person royal visit of 2021 after Prince Philip's hospitalization," 19 Feb. 2021 In a signal of what is to come, this past November visitors arrived at the museum’s partially restored royal reception hall in an adjacent older building to admire the contemporary works of Omer Qais, a local Iraqi artist. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Magazine, "Iraq’s Cultural Museum in Mosul Is On the Road to Recovery," 19 Feb. 2021 The announcement brings to conclusion a tumultuous episode for the house of Windsor, which followed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s surprise decision last year to quit the royal fold. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Lose Remaining Royal Family Roles," 19 Feb. 2021 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will no longer serve as patrons for several organizations following the confirmation of their royal exit. Fox News, "Meghan Markle, Prince Harry will no longer serve as patrons for some organizations," 19 Feb. 2021 His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness and agreed to stop using the word royal in their commercial and charitable ventures. Mark Landler,, "Harry and Meghan to give up official royal family duties," 19 Feb. 2021 Also ahead of Friday's launch, Bey rocked the royal icy blue nylon track suit with gold chains and a matching faux fur scarf dangling over her mostly bare chest and the newer version of her Super Sleek sneaks. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Beyoncé Models 'Icy Park' Reflective Ski Suit Ahead of Adidas Collection Launch," 19 Feb. 2021 Buckingham Palace has already announced that May's garden parties are canceled; however, questions still remain as to whether other staple events in the royal spring and summer calendar might go ahead. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince Charles and Camilla Make the First In-Person Royal Visit of 2021," 17 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, her father, and the Dubai royal court have said Sheikha Latifa is safe in the loving care of her family, despite the emerging videos of her apparent distress. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "UN to 'raise' missing Dubai princess with UAE," 17 Feb. 2021 In Her Own Words on repeat to research the part and perfect the royal's accent. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Why Emma Corrin Is Done With 'Posh English' Roles After Playing Princess Diana," 31 Jan. 2021 Set during Christmastime in 1991, the plot follows what should have been a standard holiday weekend at the royal's Sandringham Estate. Ineye Komonibo,, "The First Look At Kristen Stewart’s Transformation Into Princess Diana Is Staggering," 28 Jan. 2021 My interviewees included the president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a former CIA director, a former NATO supreme allied commander, a former prime minister of Italy and Britain’s astronomer royal. Adil Najam, The Conversation, "I spoke to 99 big thinkers about what our ‘world after coronavirus’ might look like – this is what I learned," 12 Jan. 2021 Everyone wants to slap together a house and glue the pieces in place with the snow-white confection called royal icing, but that edible cement simply takes too long to dry. Sara Chodosh, Popular Science, "How to build a gingerbread house that won’t fall apart," 25 Dec. 2020 The first photo from Pablo Larrain’s upcoming film Spencer just dropped, and Kristen Stewart is absolutely haunting as the young royal. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "Your First Look at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana," 27 Jan. 2021 Kristen Stewart makes her first appearance as Princess Diana in a new still released from the upcoming Pablo Larraín film, Spencer, which focuses on the life of the late royal. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kristen Stewart Is a Spot-On Princess Diana in the First Photo from Spencer," 27 Jan. 2021 Emma Corrin garnered critical acclaim for her turn as the late royal in season 4 of The Crown. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A First Look at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the Upcoming Film, Spencer," 27 Jan. 2021

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

Time Traveler for royal

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for royal

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Royal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on royal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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