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[im-peer-ee-uh m]
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noun, plural im·pe·ri·a [im-peer-ee-uh] /ɪmˈpɪər i ə/, im·pe·ri·ums.
  1. command; supreme power.
  2. area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
  3. a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.
  4. Law. the right to command the force of the state in order to enforce the law.
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Origin of imperium

1645–55; < Latin: supreme administrative power, authority, empire, equivalent to imper(āre) to rule (see imperative) + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for imperium


noun plural -ria (-rɪə)
  1. (in ancient Rome) the supreme power, held esp by consuls and emperors, to command and administer in military, judicial, and civil affairs
  2. the right to command; supreme power
  3. a less common word for empire
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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

Word Origin and History for imperium


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper