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

  • noun Official approval or license to print or publish, especially as granted by a censor or an ecclesiastical authority.
  • noun Official approval; sanction.
  • noun A mark of official approval.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • noun (Law) 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.
  • noun (R. C. Ch.) 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.
  • noun Official approval for some proposed activity.

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

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

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

  • noun formal and explicit approval


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

[From New Latin imprimātur, let it be printed, third person sing. present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere, to imprint; see impress.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin imprimatur ("let it be printed"), third person singular present subjunctive passive form of imprimere ("to imprint").


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  • 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

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

    January 6, 2011

  • '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