[ im-pri-mah-ter, -mey-, -prahy- ]
/ ˌɪm prɪˈmɑ tər, -ˈmeɪ-, -praɪ- /


an official license to print or publish a book, pamphlet, etc., especially a license issued by a censor of the Roman Catholic Church.Compare nihil obstat.
sanction or approval; support: Our plan has the company president's imprimatur.

Nearby words

  1. impressively,
  2. impressment,
  3. impressure,
  4. imprest,
  5. imprest fund,
  6. imprimis,
  7. imprint,
  8. imprinter,
  9. imprinting,
  10. imprison

Origin of imprimatur

1630–40; < New Latin: let it be printed, Latin: let it be made by pressing upon (something); see impress1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imprimatur

British Dictionary definitions for imprimatur


/ (ˌɪmprɪˈmeɪtə, -ˈmɑː-) /


RC Church a licence granted by a bishop certifying the Church's approval of a book to be published
sanction, authority, or approval, esp for something to be printed

Word Origin for imprimatur

C17: New Latin, literally: let it be printed

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 imprimatur



1640, Modern Latin, literally "let it be printed," the formula of a book licenser, third person singular present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere "to print" (see impress). Originally of state license to print books, later only of Roman Catholic Church.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper