< /ɪmˈpɪər i ə/, im·pe·ri·ums.

  1. command; supreme power.
  2. area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
  3. a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.
  4. Law. the right to command the force of the state in order to enforce the law.

noun plural -ria (-rɪə)

  1. (in ancient Rome) the supreme power, held esp by consuls and emperors, to command and administer in military, judicial, and civil affairs
  2. the right to command; supreme power
  3. a less common word for empire

1650s, from Latin imperium “command, supreme authority, power” (see empire).

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