Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority.
  • n. The territory included in such a unit.
  • n. An extensive enterprise under a unified authority: a publishing empire.
  • n. Imperial or imperialistic sovereignty, domination, or control: "There is a growing sense that the course of empire is shifting toward the . . . Asians” ( James Traub).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority.
  • n. A group of states or other territories that owe allegiance to a foreign power.
  • n. A state ruled by an emperor.
  • n. An expansive and wealthy corporation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Supreme power; sovereignty; sway; dominion.
  • n. The dominion of an emperor; the territory or countries under the jurisdiction and dominion of an emperor (rarely of a king), usually of greater extent than a kingdom, always comprising a variety in the nationality of, or the forms of administration in, constituent and subordinate portions.
  • n. Any dominion; supreme control; governing influence; rule; sway.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Supreme power in governing; imperial power; dominion; sovereignty.
  • n. The country, region, or union of states or territories under the jurisdiction and dominion of an emperor or other powerful sovereign or government; usually, a territory of greater extent than a kingdom, which may be, and often is, of small extent: as, the Roman or the Russian empire.
  • n. Supreme control; governing influence; rule; sway: as, the empire of reason or of truth.
  • n. Synonyms Sway, dominion, rule, reign, government, supremacy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the domain ruled by an emperor or empress; the region over which imperial dominion is exercised
  • n. a group of countries under a single authority
  • n. a group of diverse companies under common ownership and run as a single organization
  • n. an eating apple that somewhat resembles a McIntosh; used as both an eating and a cooking apple
  • n. a monarchy with an emperor as head of state

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin imperium, from imperāre, to command; see emperor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin imperium, inperium ("command, control, dominion, sovereignty, a dominion, empire"), from imperare, inperare ("to command, order"), from in ("in, on") + parare ("to make ready, order"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus, Tertullian, in his notable Apology, chapter 32, says: "Christians are under a particular necessity of praying for the emperors, and for the continued state of the empire; because we know that dreadful power which hangs over the world, and _the conclusion of the age, which threatens the most horrible evils, is restrained by the continuance of the time appointed for the Roman empire_.

    The Revelation Explained

  • The term empire building really resonates with those analyzing the latest public sector salary disclosure report, which indicates that 14 employees ...

    undefined

  • The European Union's leaders don't often use the word "empire" in connection with their vast project, at least not in public.

    Not Imperialist? The EU Just Started a Bit Late

  • That final two-page spread, with a slightly uneasy Miracleman surveying his empire is a fitting end and the only conclusion I'll need.

    Collect This Now! Miracleman | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • The only nod to the empire is a statue of wizened little Yoda presiding over a fountain right outside the visitor's entrance.

    Boing Boing: July 3, 2005 - July 9, 2005 Archives

  • And then another thought to this idea of unification of the empire is the development of the Empire -- to develop this imperial unit as we call it-for it is only the beginning, how shall we develop it?

    Imperialism

  • Chavez has vowed to construct a multi-polar world along with allies including Iran, China and Russia to counter the political, economic and military power of Europe and the U.S., which he calls the "empire."

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • All these actions would appear to be, and indeed were, grist for the anti-imperial mill — but those protests are omitted here, which makes one wonder if some progressives 'opposition to "empire" is determined less by principle than by politics.

    The Lost Crusade

  • In many parts of New York, an "empire" is a man who stands behind the catcher and makes too many wrong calls against the home team, or so it often seems.

    New York: The Road to Recovery

  • Granted that the word "empire" is not the current designation for the union perpetuating those strong loyalties that bind the British Commonwealth together it will continue to be an honoured and appropriate synonym as long as such a union exists.

    D-Day Dinner

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A vampire that's always dashing.

    March 25, 2009

  • An Empire silhouette is created by wearing a high-waisted dress, gathered near or just under the bust with a long, loose skirt, which skims the body. The outline is especially flattering to pear shapes wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasise the bust. The shape of the dress helps to lengthen the body. The word "Empire" here refers to the period of the First French Empire.
    _Wikipedia

    February 1, 2008