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 intensivea 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the early 1990s pressure built to lower their overhead, which among other things led to an agreement that the Queen and Prince of Wales would pay income tax and sell the royal yacht. TheWeek, "How the Royals get their money," 2 Feb. 2020 On display are a handful of ornate necklaces and other jewelry made from gold, silver, and leather, from the same royal palace, on loan from the Musée du Quai Branly. Joe Penney, Quartz Africa, "These West African artifacts tell stories of great forgotten empires but also the battle to own Africa’s art," 1 Feb. 2020 All are said to have had affairs with Lucian Freud (was there anyone who didn’t?), three with Arthur Koestler and one with Egypt’s King Farouk (who liked to flagellate her on the steps of the royal palace with his dressing-gown cord). Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘The Lost Girls’ Review: High Minds and Slender Means," 31 Jan. 2020 The couple is said to be working to make a post-royal career in a fashion similar to the Obamas. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "Meghan Markle 'actively looking for a manager' to break into Hollywood," 30 Jan. 2020 Recent royal births, weddings, and Netflix’s The Crown have all inspired renewed interest in the monarchy and British aristocracy. National Geographic, "On the rise: 20 trending destinations for 2020," 29 Jan. 2020 This little piece of British royal history is expected to sell in the range of about $46,000 to $52,000. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, "Audi 80 Cabriolet Once Owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, Headed to Auction," 28 Jan. 2020 George VI, the queen’s father, died there in February 1952, while his daughter was away on a royal tour in Kenya. Mark Landler, New York Times, "In Statement, Queen ‘Supportive’ of Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘New Life’," 13 Jan. 2020 There was also Kate Middleton and Prince William, who, among many appearances, stood out during their royal tour of India, when Middleton repeatedly embraced local labels. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "These 13 Couples Found Their Style Stride in 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is the first time, however, that the royal is scheduled to undergo several engagements, according to a press release from Clarence House. Anika Reed, Indianapolis Star, "Prince Charles didn't snub Mike Pence at World Holocaust Forum, vice president's team says," 23 Jan. 2020 But the implicit contract has held: In return for wealth and honor, the royals show themselves at myriad public functions, and (more recently) submit to tabloid scrutiny. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 23 Jan. 2020 Springing from Janetti’s viral Instagrams providing imagined commentary from Prince George with news about the royals, the comedy writer will voice the young royal family member spilling all the tea on the British monarchy. Marcus Jones,, "Prince Harry, Meghan Markle getting animated treatment in HBO Max series," 21 Jan. 2020 Perhaps a return to the carefree pastimes of youth might help the royals find some joy. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "Fit for a Prince: Where in the West Should Meghan and Harry Move?," 16 Jan. 2020 Living like the royals does come with a steep price tag, though: One night at Castle in the Forest rings in at $2,595. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "You Can Stay in This Stunning California Castle," 16 Jan. 2020 By Debra Adams Simmons, HISTORY Executive Editor The British royal had married a North American. National Geographic, "How is a 'step back' different from abdication?," 13 Jan. 2020 During her time as duchess, the stylish royal has cultivated a personal look all her own. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Why Kate Middleton Is the Queen of Coats," 9 Jan. 2020 President Donald Trump’s administration has strengthened its alliance with the powerful young royal, who has presented himself as a reformer eager to transform the deeply conservative society. Linda Givetash, NBC News, "Ruiz-Joshua title fight raises fears of Saudi Arabia 'sportswashing' human rights record," 7 Dec. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for royal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for royal

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Royal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for royal


How to pronounce royal (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for royal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with royal

Spanish Central: Translation of royal

Nglish: Translation of royal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of royal for Arabic Speakers

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