Definitions

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

  • noun An army commander in the Roman Republic.
  • noun The supreme power of the Roman emperor.
  • noun The head of state and supreme commander in the Roman Empire, in whose name all victories were won.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Roman history:
  • noun In general, a commander, chief, or ruler: in this sense a descriptive title (placed after the name) of any one possessing the imperium or power of enforcing his authority, as a general, or a consul, proconsul, or other magistrate.
  • noun In later times, more especially, a general-in-chief or holder of an independent command during active service: a title often conferred by the senate on a victorious general, or acclaimed by his army.
  • noun After the fall of the republic, the official title (used as a prenomen) of the monarch or supreme ruler as permanent generalissimo of the Roman armies; emperor: originally conferred by the senate for a term, and afterward assumed in perpetuity.
  • noun [capitalized] In zoology, a genus of trochiform prosobranchiate gastropods, of the family Turbinidæ. Montfort.

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

  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A commander; a leader; an emperor; -- originally an appellation of honor by which Roman soldiers saluted their general after an important victory. Subsequently the title was conferred as a recognition of great military achievements by the senate, whence it carried wiht it some special privileges. After the downfall of the Republic it was assumed by Augustus and his successors, and came to have the meaning now attached to the word emperor.

Etymologies

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

[Latin imperātōr; see emperor.]

Examples

  • He chafed against the implication of coercion in the word imperator: “We could more truly have been titled a protectorate than an empire of the world.”

    The Great Experiment

  • The Latin word imperator referred not only to a civilian ruler who interpreted and carried out the law but also to a victorious commander of one or more Roman legions.

    The Great Experiment

  • Anyone who cannot understand what rex imperator is saying and trying to point out needs to consider (if they are a police officer) whether they are suitable to continue in the office of constable on February 10, 2009 at 1: 04 pm | Reply Von Spreuth

    Welcome ‘Times’ Readers « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • It was the measure of his success, perhaps, that the word imperator "general" used during his reign should have evolved to mean something much more - our word "emperor".

    The Guardian World News

  • In Latin, imperator means commander but it was a special title of honor, symbolizing the bond between a winning general and his men.

    The Spartacus War

  • In Latin, imperator means commander but it was a special title of honor, symbolizing the bond between a winning general and his men.

    The Spartacus War

  • In Latin, imperator means commander but it was a special title of honor, symbolizing the bond between a winning general and his men.

    The Spartacus War

  • In Latin, imperator means commander but it was a special title of honor, symbolizing the bond between a winning general and his men.

    The Spartacus War

  • Emilius when the senate elected him imperator, that is, chief of the army which they sent against Perses, King of Macedon.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • Emilius when the senate elected him imperator, that is, chief of the army which they sent against Perses, King of Macedon.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

Comments

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  • From "C. Musonius Rufus" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010