See more synonyms for royal on
  1. of or relating to a king, queen, or other sovereign: royal power; a royal palace.
  2. descended from or related to a king or line of kings: a royal prince.
  3. noting or having the rank of a king or queen.
  4. established or chartered by or existing under the patronage of a sovereign: a royal society.
  5. (initial capital letter) serving or subject to a king, queen, or other sovereign.
  6. proceeding from or performed by a sovereign: a royal warrant.
  7. appropriate to or befitting a sovereign; magnificent; stately: royal splendor.
  8. (usually initial capital letter) British. in the service of the monarch or of the Commonwealth: Royal Marines; Royal Air Force.
  9. fine; excellent: in royal spirits.
  10. Informal. extreme or persistent; unmitigated: a royal nuisance; a royal pain.
  1. Nautical. a sail set on a royal mast.
  2. Informal. a royal person; member of the royalty.
  3. Usually royals. Chiefly British. a member of England's royal family.
  4. a size of printing paper, 20 × 25 inches (51 × 64 cm).
  5. a size of writing paper, 19 × 24 inches (48 × 61 cm).
  6. Numismatics. any of various former coins, as the real or ryal.

Origin of royal

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French < Latin rēgālis kingly, equivalent to rēg- (stem of rēx) king + -ālis -al1; cf. regal1
Related formsroy·al·ly, adverban·ti·roy·al, adjectivenon·roy·al, adjectivenon·roy·al·ly, adverbpre·roy·al, adjectivepre·roy·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·roy·al, adjectivepseu·do·roy·al·ly, adverbqua·si-roy·al, adjectivequa·si-roy·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedroil royal

Synonyms for royal

See more synonyms for on
7. majestic. See kingly.

Antonyms for royal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for royal

Contemporary Examples of royal

Historical Examples of royal

  • That graceful maiden is too lovely for any destiny meaner than a royal marriage.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The morning after his arrival, Artaphernes had a private audience with his royal master.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • “Not but what she would have royal example,” muttered Tibble aside.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • But the Holy Laws no longer needed the safe shelter of a royal shrine.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Three weeks later Parliament was dissolved by Royal commission.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for royal


  1. of, relating to, or befitting a king, queen, or other monarch; regal
  2. (prenominal; often capital) established, chartered by, under the patronage or in the service of royaltythe Royal Society of St George
  3. being a member of a royal family
  4. above the usual or normal in standing, size, quality, etc
  5. informal unusually good or impressive; first-rate
  6. nautical just above the topgallant (in the phrase royal mast)
  1. (sometimes capital) informal a member of a royal family
  2. Also called: royal stag a stag with antlers having 12 or more branches
  3. nautical a sail set next above the topgallant, on a royal mast
  4. a size of printing paper, 20 by 25 inches
  5. Also called: small royal mainly British a size of writing paper, 19 by 24 inches
  6. any of various book sizes, esp 6 1/4 by 10 inches (royal octavo), 6 3/4 by 10 1/4 inches (super royal octavo), and (chiefly Brit) 10 by 12 1/2 inches (royal quarto) and 10 1/4 by 13 1/2 inches (super royal quarto)
Derived Formsroyally, adverb

Word Origin for royal

C14: from Old French roial, from Latin rēgālis, fit for a king, from rēx king; compare regal 1
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 royal

mid-13c., "fit for a king;" late 14c., "pertaining to a king," from Old French roial "royal, regal; splendid, magnificent" (12c., Modern French royal), from Latin regalis "of a king, kingly, royal, regal," from rex (genitive regis) "king" (see rex). Meaning "thorough, total" attested from 1940s; that of "splendid, first-rate" from 1853.

Battle royal (1670s) preserves the French custom of putting the adjective after the noun (cf. attorney general); the sense of the adjective here is "on a grand scale" (cf. pair-royal "three of a kind in cards or dice," c.1600). The Royal Oak was a tree in Boscobel in Shropshire in which Charles II hid himself during flight after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Sprigs of oak were worn to commemorate his restoration in 1660.


"royal person," c.1400, from royal (adj.). Specifically "member of the royal family" from 1774.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper