from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The male ruler of an empire.
  • noun The emperor butterfly.
  • noun The emperor moth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun [capitalized] The trade-name of a standard quality of fine English drawing-paper made in sheets 72 by 48 inches.
  • noun A commander-in-chief; a supreme leader of an army or of armies.
  • noun The sovereign or supreme ruler of an empire: a title of dignity conventionally superior to that of king: as, the emperor of Germany or of Russia. See empire.
  • noun In zoöl.: In entomology: One of several large sphinxes or moths: as, the peacock emperor, Saturnia pavonia. One of several large butterflies of the family Nymphalidæ: as, the purple emperor, the popular name in Great Britain of Apatura iris, also called the purple high-flier; the tawny emperor, A. herse. See Apatura.
  • noun In ornithology, one of sundry birds notable of their kind.
  • noun A large boa of Central America, Boa imperator, probably a variety of the Boa constrictor.
  • noun Synonyms Monarch, etc. See prince.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The sovereign or supreme monarch of an empire; -- a title of dignity superior to that of king
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large and handsome goose (Philacte canagica), found in Alaska.
  • noun (Zoöl.) one of several large and beautiful bombycid moths, with transparent spots on the wings; as the American Cecropia moth (Platysamia cecropia), and the European species (Saturnia pavonia).
  • noun See under Paper.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large, strong British butterfly (Apatura iris).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The male monarch or ruler of an empire.
  • noun Specifically, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire; the world-monarch.
  • noun A large, relatively valuable marble in children's games.

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

  • noun the male ruler of an empire
  • noun red table grape of California
  • noun large moth of temperate forests of Eurasia having heavily scaled transparent wings
  • noun large richly colored butterfly


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

[Middle English emperour, from Old French empereor, from Latin imperātor, from imperāre, to command : in-, in; see en– + parāre, to prepare; see perə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French empereor (Modern French empereur), from Latin imperator ("emperor; commander"), from imperare (" to command").


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  • Furthermore, Italian aristocratic titles first originated as military titles: the Latin imperator, “general,” became “emperor”; centurions were called princeps, “first citizen,” eventually “prince”; dux, “leader,” led to “duke”; comes, “companion,” to “count”; late Latin baro, “soldier,” evolved into “baron.”

    — “Light in the Palazzo” by Ingrid D. Rowland, New York Review of Books.

    May 16, 2021