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

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 Meghan Markle's first royal tour of Australia and Oceania has been full of surprises — selfies, fashion, and even some homemade banana bread. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle Gives First Royal Tour Speech in Fiji About College Education," 24 Oct. 2018 The government will also commit to reporting every year for the next five years on the progress of the royal commission's recommendations. Trevor Marshallsea, Fox News, "PM formally apologizes to Australian child sex abuse victims," 22 Oct. 2018 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first international royal tour is officially underway, with the couple having landed in Sydney early Monday morning. Emily Wang, Condé Nast Traveler, "Meghan Markle Is Pregnant (And Not Changing Her Royal Tour for Zika)," 15 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Because of his close ties to the Saudi royal, Kushner has purposely stayed out of the spotlight during the scandal. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why Jared Kushner reportedly wants Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia," 18 Oct. 2018 Appointed in December, the royal had worked in the field with African Parks, which has boards in South Africa, Europe and the United States and counts the European Union and USAID among major donors. Washington Post, "Backed by Prince Harry, conservation group expands in Africa," 7 July 2018 The queen, 92, has also been personally involved with Meghan's on-the-job training, bringing the new royal along on a day of engagement in the northwestern English city in Cheshire last month. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Duchess Meghan dons yellow Brandon Maxwell dress as she and Harry meet Commonwealth youths," 5 July 2018 The notoriously haughty royal went through great pains to smuggle her jewels out of France during the Revolution, and they haven’t been seen in public for more than 200 years. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: Pearls Belonging to Marie Antoinette, Unseen for 200 Years, to Be Auctioned off This Fall," 20 June 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

6 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).


to deny responsibility for

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:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!