[ em-per-er ]
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  1. the male sovereign or supreme ruler of an empire: the emperors of Rome.

  2. Chiefly British. a size of drawing or writing paper, 48 × 72 inches (122 × 183 centimeters).

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Origin of emperor

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English empero(u)r, (from Anglo-French; Old French empereor, from Latin imperātor, originally, “one who gives orders, ruler,” equivalent to imperā(re) “to order, command” (im- “in” + -perāre, combining form of parāre “to provide, get ready” ) + -tor noun suffix of agency; see im-1, prepare, -tor

Other words from emperor

  • em·per·or·ship, noun
  • pre·em·per·or, noun

Words Nearby emperor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use emperor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for emperor


/ (ˈɛmpərə) /

  1. a monarch who rules or reigns over an empire

  2. Also called: emperor moth any of several large saturniid moths with eyelike markings on each wing, esp Saturnia pavonia of Europe: See also giant peacock moth

Origin of emperor

C13: from Old French empereor, from Latin imperātor commander-in-chief, from imperāre to command, from im- + parāre to make ready

Derived forms of emperor

  • emperorship, noun

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