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royalty Syllabification: roy·al·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈroiəltē/

Definition of royalty in English:

noun (plural royalties)

1People of royal blood or status: diplomats, heads of state, and royalty shared tables at the banquet
More example sentences
  • The feudal past comes alive in the splendid portraits of royalty in full regalia, the photographs of palaces and luxurious interiors, and curiosities such as the Bahawalpur bed.
  • I see an engaging and fiery young woman, who on a number of occasions, has shown a regal command equal to any royal in the world, and I have known my share of royalty.
  • Amanda observed and watched the conversations silently as she ate among the table of royalty.
1.1A member of a royal family: she swept by as if she were royalty
More example sentences
  • For instance, each room built for royalty was to fit each member of the court no matter what time of day, holiday, or placement.
  • If Yeoman treated her employees like family, she treated her customers like royalty.
  • The council decided that since Samantha was royalty, she would be a member of the council.
1.2The status or power of a king or queen: the brilliance of her clothes, her jewels, all revealed her royalty
More example sentences
  • The title of princess, and later Queen, comes with not only the joys of royalty, but with great responsibility and knowledge.
1.3The most successful, famous, or highly regarded members of a particular group: it’s not often you meet real Hollywood royalty, let alone chat to Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman in one day
More example sentences
  • In the stands only a few clued-in tennis fans are aware they are in the presence of tennis royalty.
  • We were breathing the same air as sporting royalty.
  • Occupying a space normally reserved for those artists with much higher profiles, Guru and Gang Starr have crossed over from the underground into the pantheon of hip-hop royalty.
2A sum of money paid to a patentee for the use of a patent or to an author or composer for each copy of a book sold or for each public performance of a work.
Example sentences
  • Under the 1909 copyright law and its progeny, a song's composers collect royalties for a ‘public performance’ like the radio broadcast of a CD.
  • But you then have to buy copies from them, albeit at a substantial discount, and they pay you a royalty on each book sold through them.
  • Authors receive 100 percent royalties on electronic book sales of up to $300 and 40 percent thereafter.
3A royal right (now especially over minerals) granted by a sovereign to an individual or corporation.
Example sentences
  • The unstable government has been reliant on Australian troops, police and economic aid, a situation ruthlessly exploited by Canberra in the dispute over royalties and sovereignty.
  • Yunupingu, who is reportedly embroiled in a dispute with family members over the dispersal of mining royalties and grants, gave no details about the mine proposal or how it would be financed.
  • The financial structure of the Empire, with its king's land, crown land, royalties, burdens and gifts, is extremely difficult to disentangle.
3.1A payment made by a producer of minerals, oil, or natural gas to the owner of the site or of the mineral rights over it.
Example sentences
  • Producers pay royalties and severance taxes from oil and gas they take out, corporate income tax on profits, and property taxes on production and transmission line lands.
  • It's been under lease to the mining giant since the late 1960s, and the traditional owners receive royalties, even though the lease predates the Land Rights Act.
  • After all, we must not forget that finally it is the Crown that owns the minerals themselves, and it is the Crown that gives the mining companies the right to extract those minerals in exchange for royalties, etc.


Late Middle English: from Old French roialte, from roial (see royal). The sense 'royal right (especially over minerals)' (late 15th century) developed into the sense 'payment made by a mineral producer to the site owner' (mid 19th century), which was then transferred to payments for the use of patents and published materials.

Words that rhyme with royalty


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