Definitions

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

  • n. Official approval or license to print or publish, especially under conditions of censorship.
  • n. Official approval; sanction.
  • n. A mark of official approval: a directive bearing the imprimatur of high officials.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An official license to publish or print something, especially when censorship applies.
  • n. Any mark of official approval.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A license to print or publish a book, paper, etc.; also, in countries subjected to the censorship of the press, approval of that which is published.
  • n. Permission granted from a designated ecclesiastical authority to publish a book or other document; -- required by church law for Catholics, especially ecclesiastics, who wish to publish.
  • n. Official approval for some proposed activity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Let it be printed: a formula signed by an official licenser of the press and attached to the matter so authorized to be printed.
  • n. n. A license to print, granted by the licenser of the press; hence, a license in general.

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

  • n. formal and explicit approval

Etymologies

From New Latin imprimātur, let it be printed, third person sing. present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere, to imprint; see impress1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin imprimatur ("let it be printed"), third person singular present subjunctive passive form of imprimere ("to imprint"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • 'The wish to live on in one's descendants is not unusual, even if the words in which it is expressed have lacked imprimatur.' The Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson 2010.

    April 20, 2013

  • Mr. Zuckerberg felt that gaining the imprimatur of a major investor at such lofty levels would validate Facebook

    January 6, 2011

  • Every time I see this word, an image of one of those nuns I endured in high school pops up in my mind - NOT a pleasant image believe me!

    June 21, 2009