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[im-peer-ee-uh m] /ɪmˈpɪər i əm/
noun, plural imperia
[im-peer-ee-uh] /ɪmˈpɪər i ə/ (Show IPA),
command; supreme power.
area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.
Law. the right to command the force of the state in order to enforce the law.
Origin of imperium
1645-55; < Latin: supreme administrative power, authority, empire, equivalent to imper(āre) to rule (see imperative) + -ium -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for imperium
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Several other circumstances tended to strengthen the imperium of the church.

  • Probably he thinks of nothing apart from his mine; of his 'imperium in Imperio.'

  • Walk down to the imperium with me, Harry, and have a bit of lunch.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • That same afternoon he went over to the imperium to vote at the election of members.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • There was to be no imperium in imperio, but "one body politic," with one Supreme Head.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • The imperium—as is only just—would remain in the family of the great Augustus.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • The Cæsar had nominated his successor to the imperium in the Circus the other day.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • "Womanhood seems to be organized as a sort of imperium in imperio in your system," I said.

    Looking Backward Edward Bellamy
British Dictionary definitions for imperium


noun (pl) -ria (-rɪə)
(in ancient Rome) the supreme power, held esp by consuls and emperors, to command and administer in military, judicial, and civil affairs
the right to command; supreme power
a less common word for empire
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: command, empire, from imperāre to command; see emperor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for imperium

1650s, from Latin imperium "command, supreme authority, power" (see empire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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