roy·​al·​ty | \ ˈrȯi(-ə)l-tē How to pronounce royalty (audio) \
plural royalties

Definition of royalty

1a : royal status or power : sovereignty
b : a right or perquisite of a sovereign (such as a percentage paid to the crown of gold or silver taken from mines)
2 : regal character or bearing : nobility
3a : persons of royal lineage
b : a person of royal rank how to address royalties— George Santayana
c : an elite class
4 : a right of jurisdiction granted to an individual or corporation by a sovereign
5a : a share of the product or profit reserved by the grantor especially of an oil or mining lease
b : a payment to an author or composer for each copy of a work sold or to an inventor for each item sold under a patent

Examples of royalty in a Sentence

It was an honor and a privilege to dine with royalty. On our wedding day, we were treated like royalty.
Recent Examples on the Web Addressing the graduating class, Bassett powerfully urged students to honor the values of royalty set forth by ODU's mascot the Monarch, a lion with a crown on its head. Hattie Lindert,, 7 May 2022 The Free Press didn't publish its first news picture on the front page until Jan. 28, 1900 — a photo of British royalty, although the first photograph to appear on the front page was an advertisement for a shoe store on Woodward near Jefferson. Dan Austin, Detroit Free Press, 5 May 2022 Yet part of the enchantment of her aura is that of an ordinary person assuming the mystique of royalty. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 26 Apr. 2022 Alexander Skarsgård has played Vikings and vampires, models and marauders, soldiers in the trenches and sociopathic Succession moguls — even several kinds of royalty, not least of them the King of the Jungle. Leah Greenblatt,, 22 Apr. 2022 His replacement was Dennis Swanson, a proud and humorless former Marine hired to trim the fat and moderate the often inexcusable behavior of the production royalty. Brian T. Brown, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 One of the greatest functions of royalty is simply to be seen. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, 12 Apr. 2022 Ulrich and scores of other rock royalty paid tribute to the Foo Fighters drummer, who passed away over the weekend at the age of 50. Aj Willingham, CNN, 28 Mar. 2022 Kravitz is, after all, the daughter of music royalty and herself fronted the R&B and electropop band LOLAWOLF. NBC News, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'royalty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of royalty

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for royalty

Middle English roialte, from Anglo-French realté, roialté, from real

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Time Traveler for royalty

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The first known use of royalty was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near royalty

Royal Tunbridge Wells


royal walnut

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Statistics for royalty

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Royalty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for royalty


roy·​al·​ty | \ ˈrȯi-əl-tē How to pronounce royalty (audio) \
plural royalties

Kids Definition of royalty

1 : the status or power of a king or queen or his or her family
2 : members of the royal family of a king or queen
3 : a share of a product or profit (as of a mine) claimed by the owner for allowing another to use the property
4 : payment made to the owner of a patent or copyright for the use of it


plural royalties

Legal Definition of royalty

1 : a right delegated (as to an individual or corporation) by a sovereign
2a : a share of the profit or product reserved by the grantor especially of an oil or mineral lease — compare overriding royalty
b : a payment made to an author or composer for each copy of a work sold or to an inventor for each article sold under a patent

More from Merriam-Webster on royalty

Nglish: Translation of royalty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of royalty for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about royalty


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