Definition of empress in English:



  • 1A woman who is a sovereign ruler of great power and rank, especially one ruling an empire.

    ‘Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress at Delhi in 1877’
    • ‘There were many rumors that she was going to be the future empress of Austria.’
    • ‘The giant Schonbrunn Palace was created for the empress Maria Theresa and her 16 children, and it looked pretty magical by lamplight.’
    • ‘Anarchists threw bombs into the French parliament, and assassinated the Russian tsar, the French president, the Austrian empress, the Spanish prime minister, and the Italian king.’
    • ‘They had to sneak into the capital and find a way into the empress's fortress.’
    • ‘China's emperors and empresses knew what they wanted.’
    • ‘The latest proclamation from the Empress states that all women, other than the empress herself, must leave the kingdom for unspoken reasons.’
    • ‘It should be noted that Orchid's character is based on Tzu Hsi, who was China's longest-reigning female ruler and its last empress.’
    • ‘In 1768 he traveled to Vienna to inoculate the family of the Austrian empress Maria Theresa - including the young Marie Antoinette - and subsequently served as court physician for over ten years.’
    • ‘The reigning empresses were enthroned to prevent a break in succession in cases of emergency, such as when a crown prince was too young to reign or was forced to postpone enthronement for political reasons.’
    • ‘The centerpiece depicts the empress enthroned under a baldachin and surrounded by figures of Hercules, Minerva, Mars, and other gods celebrating her military achievements.’
    • ‘When the farmer brings him to Court, he makes the acquaintance of Her Majesty, the royal empress of Brobningnag.’
    • ‘She began receiving years of private instruction to assist her in her role as the future empress.’
    • ‘Disraeli seized the chance to buy a controlling interest in the Suez canal, he sent the flamboyant Lytton to India as viceroy, and his 1876 Royal Titles Act proclaimed Victoria empress of India.’
    • ‘Constitutional changes to permit a female empress may thus trigger dangerous public debate about the need for a monarchy.’
    ruler, sovereign, monarch, potentate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The wife or widow of an emperor.
      ‘she became Empress of France as the wife of Napoleon III’
      • ‘Later emperors carried it further and in the second century AD empresses such as Sabina (wife of the emperor Trajan) were depicted as embodying, for example, pietas (family feeling).’
      • ‘The emperor and empress did not attend the prince's funeral Friday in conformity with tradition.’
      • ‘The emperor and empress earlier in the day met with the king, who has been discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘After the ceremony, Sayako said: ‘I would like to express my deep gratitude to both the emperor and the empress for blessing us.’’
      • ‘During the Second Empire, Carpeaux was one of the favoured sculptors of both the emperor and empress.’
      • ‘The king is expected to invite the emperor and empress to a private dinner at his palace on Wednesday.’
      • ‘The emperor and the empress eased themselves into their silk-cushioned thrones.’
      • ‘From the 11 th Century, the images of the empresses and the mothers of emperors were placed beside that of the emperors.’
      • ‘It became clear to the factory leadership that neither the emperor nor the empress were interested in copies on porcelain of paintings in the Hermitage.’
      • ‘The emperor and empress met the Malaysian royal couple during a visit to Malaysia in 1970.’
      • ‘The emperor and the empress are visiting those cliffs, too.’
      • ‘When she died, only four years ago at the age of 97, she was also the longest living empress consort in Japanese history.’
      • ‘After the event, the emperor and empress visited the recuperating Norwegian king at his palace for a private dinner.’
      • ‘The empress dowager looked up, the tears beginning to course down those flawless cheeks.’


Middle English: from Old French emperesse, feminine of emperere (see emperor).