Definition of royal in English:


Line breaks: royal
Pronunciation: /ˈrɔɪəl


  • 1Having the status of a king or queen or a member of their family: contributors included members of the royal family
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    • The play is about Anastasia Romanov, a member of the Russian royal family, after the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1918.
    • As well as the Queen Mother, the queen and her husband Prince Philip, most other members of the royal family are due to attend the funeral.
    • Boromo Trailokanat resolved the question of succession by ranking every member of the royal family in relation to the reigning monarch.
  • 1.1Belonging to, carried out, or exercised by a king or queen: the royal palace the coalition obtained royal approval for the appointment
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    • Prince Charles gave the royal seal of approval to the appeal launched by St John's Church in Devizes by attending a fundraising concert.
    • Prince Andrew of Greece was reburied in the royal Summer Palace at Tatoi in Athens.
    • Castles, stately homes and royal palaces comprise nine per cent of all listed buildings and industrial heritage accounts for five per cent.
  • 1.2In the service or under the patronage of a king or queen: a royal maid
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    • She had been a royal Maid of Honour from 1853 and her marriage had brought her closer to the throne.
    • His wife, he said, understood the pressures of a life as a royal butler because she was the Duke of Edinburgh's maid for 16 years.
    • When a guest at a ball for royal staff at Buckingham Palace the Duke asked her what she thought of the food.
  • 1.3Of a quality or size suitable for a king or queen; splendid: she received a royal welcome
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    • There is more to Rajasthan than just its royal splendour or amazing camel rides through never-ending sand dunes.
    • Certainly there was a royal quality to the servings - I struggled to finish them.
    • The people of Tory Island and their King were treated to a royal welcome in Monasterevin last weekend.
    excellent, fine, marvellous, magnificent, splendid, superb, wonderful, first-rate, first-class
    informal fantastic, terrific, great, tremendous, grand
  • 1.4 [attributive] British informal Real; utter (used for emphasis): she’s a right royal pain in the behind
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    • A right royal rumpus has erupted over York's Golden Jubilee Rugby League Festival after a team from Oxford tried once again to muscle in on the event.
    • The princess wants to run away, much to the King and Queen's concern, and only our hero can prevent a right royal row.
    • Last Tuesday her dedication and hard work received a right royal accolade.
    complete, utter, total, real, absolute, thorough, veritable
    British informal proper, right, flipping, blinking, blooming, bloody, bleeding, effing, chuffing
    Australian/New Zealand informal plurry
    British informal, • dated bally, ruddy
    vulgar slang fucking, frigging


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  • 1 informal A member of the royal family: the royals are coming under the TV microscope
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    • At 11.10 am Royal Family members, foreign royals and members of the Queen Mother's family will be seated.
    • At the Abbey, members of the Royal Family, foreign royals, members of the Bowes Lyon family and other blood relatives move in procession to their seats.
    • Some 35 members of the Royal Family and 25 foreign royals were there to pay a personal tribute.
  • 4 (in full metric royal) [mass noun] A paper size, 636 × 480 mm.
  • 4.1 (in full royal octavo) A book size, 234 × 156 mm.
  • 4.2 (in full royal quarto) A book size, 312 × 237 mm.
  • 5 Bell-ringing A system of change-ringing using ten bells.


royal road to

A way of attaining or reaching something without trouble: there is no royal road to teaching
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  • It has become orthodoxy in most texts on politics and political science that something called ‘economic liberalisation’ is the royal road to international acceptability.
  • I can start, I suppose, by attacking the notion that liberalism or secularism - or even nihilism, for that matter - is the royal road to totalitarianism.
  • Freud famously said that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious; perhaps the movies offer another way to get there.



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  • All expenses are paid and you are treated royally.
  • He was, however, royally compensated for the disappointment.
  • Their supporters did them proud, as they gave the visitors a warm American welcome and treated them royally for the duration of their week's visit.


late Middle English: from Old French roial, from Latin regalis 'regal'.

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