- a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government: usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom, as the former British Empire, French Empire, Russian Empire, Byzantine Empire, or Roman Empire.
- a government under an emperor or empress.
- (often initial capital letter) the historical period during which a nation is under such a government: a history of the second French empire.
- supreme power in governing; imperial power; sovereignty: Austria's failure of empire in central Europe.
- supreme control; absolute sway: passion's empire over the mind.
- a powerful and important enterprise or holding of large scope that is controlled by a single person, family, or group of associates: The family's shipping empire was founded 50 years ago.
- (initial capital letter) a variety of apple somewhat resembling the McIntosh.
- (initial capital letter) characteristic of or developed during the first French Empire, 1804–15.
- (usually initial capital letter) (of women's attire and coiffures) of the style that prevailed during the first French Empire, in clothing being characterized especially by décolletage and a high waistline, coming just below the bust, from which the skirt hangs straight and loose.
- (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to the style of architecture, furnishings, and decoration prevailing in France and imitated to a greater or lesser extent in various other countries, c1800–30: characterized by the use of delicate but elaborate ornamentation imitated from Greek and Roman examples or containing classical allusions, as animal forms for the legs of furniture, bas-reliefs of classical figures, motifs of wreaths, torches, caryatids, lyres, and urns and by the occasional use of military and Egyptian motifs and, under the Napoleonic Empire itself, of symbols alluding to Napoleon I, as bees or the letter N.
Origin of empire
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for empire
Empire will be hate-watched and may set off some conversations on its way from fading from our minds.‘Empire’ Review: Hip-Hop Musical Chairs with an Insane Soap Opera Twist
January 8, 2015
The Virologist By Andrew Marantz, New Yorker How a young entrepreneur built an empire by repackaging memes.The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, Dec 29-Jan 4, 2014
January 4, 2015
Another rumor that has existed since before The Empire Strikes Back was released.Juiciest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Rumors (and Some Debunked Ones)
January 3, 2015
In the midst of the Michael Savage drama, the Talk Radio Network empire entered into another major lawsuit.The Godfather of Right-Wing Radio
November 23, 2014
A sold-out crowd of 800 (mostly) women packed the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio to take part in the event.Live from San Antonio: Women in the World Texas!
Women in the World
October 23, 2014
I have sought thy daughter in marriage for Xerxes, prince of the empire.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
What, then, must be the population of the British empire if the increase in one city was at that rate?Explorations in Australia
Still, the empire seems to take its course westward just the same.In the Midst of Alarms
He excludes "the insolence of office," and "the cutpurse of the empire and the rule."
And again she laughed, she who was so certain of her empire over this man's heart and body.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
- an aggregate of peoples and territories, often of great extent, under the rule of a single person, oligarchy, or sovereign state
- any monarchy that for reasons of history, prestige, etc, has an emperor rather than a king as head of state
- the period during which a particular empire exists
- supreme power; sovereignty
- a large industrial organization with many ramifications, esp a multinational corporation
- See British Empire
- French history
- the period of imperial rule in France from 1804 to 1815 under Napoleon Bonaparte
- Also called: Second Empirethe period from 1852 to 1870 when Napoleon III ruled as emperor
- denoting, characteristic of, or relating to the British Empire
- denoting, characteristic of, or relating to either French Empire, esp the first: in particular, denoting the neoclassical style of architecture and furniture and the high-waisted style of women's dresses characteristic of the period
Word Origin and History for empire
early 14c., from Old French empire "rule, authority, kingdom, imperial rule," from Latin imperium "rule, command," from imperare "to command," from im- "in" (see in- (2)) + parare "to order, prepare" (see pare).
Not etymologically restricted to "territory ruled by an emperor," but used that way. The Empire, meaning "the British Empire," first recorded 1772 (it officially devolved into "The Commonwealth" in 1931); before that it meant the Holy Roman Empire (1670s). Empire style (especially in reference to a style of dresses with high waistlines) is 1869, from the Second Empire "rule of Napoleon III of France" (1852-70). New York has been called the Empire State since 1834.