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emperor definition


This page has 9 definitions of emperor in English. Emperor is a noun. Examples of how to use emperor in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Emperor


Alternative forms


From Middle English emperour, borrowed from Anglo-Norman emperour and Old French empereor (Modern French empereur), from Latin imperātor (emperor; commander), from imperāre (to command). Doublet of imperator.



emperor (plural emperors)

Emperor Norton I, self proclaimed Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of The United Mexican States.
  1. The male monarch or ruler of an empire.
  2. Any monarch ruling an empire, irrespective of gender, with "empress" contrasting to mean the consort of an emperor.
    • 1994 Het Spinhuis, Transactions: Essays in Honor of Jeremy F. Boissevain
      In 690 Wu usurped the throne and became Emperor herself, which proved a unique event in the history of China.
    • 2002 The Heritage of World Civilizations: To 1700 page 226
      After his death in 683 she ruled for seven years as regent and then, deposing her son, became emperor herself, the only woman in Chinese history to hold the title.
    • 2008 Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation page 211
      Empress, imperial regent, and even emperor herself (r. 797–802), Irene was an important and powerful figure at the Byzantine court in the late eighth and early ninth century.
    • 2013 Voyages in World History page 213
      Originally the wife of the emperor, she engineered the imperial succession so that she could serve first as regent to a boy emperor and then as emperor herself.
    • 2016, Commander Pakydus, "Sindbad & the 7 Galaxies"
      Where is Sindbad? I have a summons for him direct from the galactic emperor herself. He is to be brought here immediately to give an explanation for his recent actions.
  3. (political theory) Specifically, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire; the world-monarch.
    The Investiture Controversy was a conflict between the Emperor and the Pope.
  4. (tarot) The fourth trump or major arcana card of the tarot deck.
  5. A large, relatively valuable marble in children's games.
    • 2001, Paul Webley, The economic psychology of everyday life, page 39:
      But marbles are not only used to play games: they are also traded. In this market, the value of the different kinds of marbles (oilies, emperors, etc.) is determined by local supply and demand and not by the price of the marbles []
  6. Any fish of the family Lethrinidae.
  7. (entomology) Any of various butterflies of the subfamily Charaxinae.
  8. (entomology) Any of various large dragonflies of the cosmopolitan genus Anax.
  9. An emperor penguin.
    • 2008, Gloria Clifford, Emperor Penguins: The Lords of Antarctica:
      We do not know if the emperors are monogamous. I know some of the penguins species mate for life.
    • 2012, Lloyd S. Davis, ‎John T. Darby, Penguin Biology, page 273:
      During pairing, mates walk an average of only 90 m per day, and, while incubating, male emperors move an average of 30 m per day.
    • 2019, Lindsay McCrae, My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors:
      If they were emperors, I wanted a better view. Being told they were emperors was no good; I needed to see them. But as quickly as we had spotted them, they spotted us. Sliding on their bellies, two emperors began to rush over.

Usage notes

  • The only monarch presently styled "emperor" is the Emperor of Japan (in Japanese: 天皇, tennō). The British monarch ceased to be styled Emperor of India in 1948.
  • An emperor is generally addressed as His Imperial Majesty.


Derived terms

Related terms