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

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

The Duke and Duchess supposedly wish to enjoy these early days with their newborn son in as much privacy as possible, which has certainly not been standard protocol for the royal family in, well, centuries. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Baby Sussex Is About to Have Some Seriously VIP Visitors," 7 May 2019 This also might have something to do with why Meghan and the Queen have seemed so friendly, and why the matriarch may be particularly fond of the newest member of the royal family. Jeanna Kadlec, Allure, "The Royal Baby's Birth Chart, as Interpreted by an Astrologer," 6 May 2019 Trump hosted a dinner for Pecker and a French businessman with ties to the Saudi royal family, for example, at a time when, according to the New York Times, Pecker was looking to expand AMI’s business with the kingdom. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 Rebecca English, the Daily Mail's royal correspondent, attended the Wednesday morning tea, and shared photos of Meghan's banana bread on Twitter. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle Reportedly Brought Homemade Banana Bread While Visiting a Family Farm in Australia," 17 Oct. 2018 But her son Prince Charles has also taken it upon himself to start new royal traditions. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Ahead of Easter, Prince Charles Publishes a Message of Hope," 19 Apr. 2019 Breaking the unspoken rules of royal tradition, which decree non-distracting polish shades as mandatory, the Duchess of Sussex revealed a dark purple pedicure for a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem show. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Royal Quick Change Is a Lesson in Date Night Beauty," 16 Jan. 2019 That's one special royal baby tradition that will never get old. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Inside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Where Kate Middleton Gave Birth," 5 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The royals were super sweet with their little one, just like any new parents, with the Duchess of Sussex gently rubbing his head while Prince Harry held his son. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Gave Their First Joint Interview About Baby Sussex," 8 May 2019 Early today, the royals officially announced that their baby's full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Riverdale" Fans are Trolling Royal Baby Archie on Twitter and I'm LIVING," 8 May 2019 After a multimillion-pound restoration, Prince Charles and his foundation transformed the building on castle grounds so visitors can live like royals. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Prince Charles Just Opened Granary Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Scotland," 6 May 2019 American royals are fans too, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé among them. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Delvaux, the Brand Beloved by Belgian Royals and Lady Gaga Alike, Lands in NYC," 21 Mar. 2019 As reported by Harper’s Bazaar, royal romantics at heart will be able to watch the next set of royals walk down the aisle as TLC will be the only network to broadcast the wedding in the United States. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding: Everything We Know So Far," 5 Oct. 2018 The royals have a busy schedule ahead, and will make several appearances before heading home. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Visits Blackpool in the Pouring Rain Wearing Michael Kors," 6 Mar. 2019 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

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

15 May 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 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

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 make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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!