Definition of royal in English:



  • 1Having the status of a king or queen or a member of their family.

    ‘contributors included members of the royal family’
    • ‘Prince Fahd was the third member of the Saudi royal family to die in just over a week.’
    • ‘Boromo Trailokanat resolved the question of succession by ranking every member of the royal family in relation to the reigning monarch.’
    • ‘There wasn't a stiffness or an awkwardness, which there can be sometimes with other members of the royal family because you're so aware of protocol.’
    • ‘After the service, blessing and reception the royal couple have spent this week on honeymoon on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.’
    • ‘Some 25 British Royals, as well as members of foreign royal families, were in attendance.’
    • ‘It is hoped a visit by a member of the royal family will take place on June 18.’
    • ‘The Queen is not the only member of the royal family to have personal flags.’
    • ‘The play is about Anastasia Romanov, a member of the Russian royal family, after the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1918.’
    • ‘The fraud was discovered after two diamonds sold for $15 million to members of the Saudi royal family.’
    • ‘Only recently, he has been busy working on a large order for a member of the royal family, although a confidentiality clause prevents him from naming the client.’
    • ‘Factions formed around the heir to the throne and other members of the royal family as well as in the entourage of ministers.’
    • ‘The royal couple greeted villagers after attending a church service this morning.’
    • ‘State honors, generally reserved for members of the Nepalese royal family, were given to Babu Chhiri, who established at least two climbing records.’
    • ‘In addition to all this, they've had several members of the royal family, government officials and business leaders visiting from Thailand.’
    • ‘Legal experts said the couple could not marry in a civil ceremony in England because the 1836 Marriage Act bars members of the royal family from doing so.’
    • ‘He was the first member of the royal family to visit Siberia, where his encounter with the lives of convicts and exiles led to a certain improvement in their lot after he became tsar.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The members of the royal family who are in line to the throne cannot take the chances that our children and grandchildren would take.’
    • ‘Altogether, 36 members of the royal family attended, including the princes William and Harry.’
    • ‘The dramatic scenery has also attracted famous visitors over the years, including composer Edvard Grieg and members of Norway's royal family.’
    regal, monarchal, monarchial, monarchical, sovereign, kingly, queenly, princely, majestic
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    1. 1.1 Belonging to, carried out, or exercised by a king or queen.
      ‘the royal palace’
      ‘the coalition obtained royal approval for the appointment’
      • ‘West of the city there was also much activity around Westminster where an abbey existed from at least the 8th century and which later became the focus for a royal palace and the seat of power.’
      • ‘Castles, stately homes and royal palaces comprise nine per cent of all listed buildings and industrial heritage accounts for five per cent.’
      • ‘The Restoration brought back the Stuarts but not intensive royal patronage.’
      • ‘I can see the great royal palace of Mandalay, shimmering across the moat.’
      • ‘From here you can walk to Amalienborg, the royal palace, the impressive buildings of which are patrolled by guards in busbies.’
      • ‘Numerous imperial and royal palaces survived into the early Middle Ages and were restored or rebuilt.’
      • ‘Six times the size of the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the new extension has grand plans to open its doors to welcome as many people as it can.’
      • ‘In 1830, it was granted royal patronage by Queen Victoria and became the Manchester Royal Infirmary.’
      • ‘Near the end of his reign, King Behanzin ordered his troops to burn the royal palaces rather than see them fall into French hands.’
      • ‘By 1699 he was again under royal patronage working for William III and Mary at Hampton Court.’
      • ‘In an age when royal patronage was a precarious and unreliable commodity, writing for the theatre provided a measure of financial security for anyone prepared to submit to its rigours.’
      • ‘Prince Charles gave the royal seal of approval to the appeal launched by St John's Church in Devizes by attending a fundraising concert.’
      • ‘It was his business to depict palaces and royal chapels, but he did not hesitate to show them without majesty - under scaffolds or being repaired.’
      • ‘Largely amassed since the reign of Charles I, the Royal Collection is housed at The Queen's official and private residences and the historic royal palaces.’
      • ‘Prince Andrew of Greece was reburied in the royal Summer Palace at Tatoi in Athens.’
      • ‘Stuart and Rosemary Robson have translated and edited eighteen essays about Javanese royal palaces in the late colonial period.’
      • ‘Otley's new £15m hospital was given the royal seal of approval when it was officially opened by Princess Anne.’
      • ‘The magnificence of royal palaces, no matter how richly appointed, cannot take away the disappointment of a bad performance.’
      • ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was in Rochdale on Friday 19 November 1976 to give the royal seal of approval to the town's new shopping centre and magistrates court.’
      • ‘By lending large sums to Henry III and Edward I, they obtained royal patronage and protection.’
      regal, kingly, queenly, kinglike, queenlike, princely
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    2. 1.2 In the service or under the patronage of a king or queen.
      ‘a royal maid’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The TV chef once worked as a royal footman at Buckingham Palace, where he noted that the Queen hated food to be thrown away.’
      • ‘She had been a royal Maid of Honour from 1853 and her marriage had brought her closer to the throne.’
      • ‘When a guest at a ball for royal staff at Buckingham Palace the Duke asked her what she thought of the food.’
      • ‘The most famous traditional costumes in England are the red uniforms and high black hats worn by the royal guard at Buckingham Palace.’
      • ‘When Queen Hatsheput moved her court to Punt, an artist of the time did a wall painting which still exists, showing royal attendants carrying sheaves of herbs.’
      • ‘The production company yesterday handed over tapes of footage it had shot in St Andrews to Buckingham Palace for royal officials to examine.’
    3. 1.3 Of a quality or size suitable for a king or queen; splendid.
      ‘she received a royal welcome’
      • ‘When we arrived at the club we got somewhat of a royal welcome and were ushered inside to a table set for six.’
      • ‘Fans, teachers and fellow students gave him a royal welcome as he returned for the start of the final year of his sports diploma at the college.’
      • ‘His visit had been a big media event in the Gulf too and he was accorded a royal welcome at the Dubai airport.’
      • ‘The people of Tory Island and their King were treated to a royal welcome in Monasterevin last weekend.’
      • ‘There is more to Rajasthan than just its royal splendour or amazing camel rides through never-ending sand dunes.’
      • ‘He ensured there were Tudor roses on the gowns of the staff and on the Tudor coloured counterpanes of the beds; the roof and stained glass windows were also of royal quality.’
      • ‘This weekend bonanza got off to a flying start when the guests were welcomed in the royal traditional style, garlanded and saluted by elephants.’
      • ‘Certainly there was a royal quality to the servings - I struggled to finish them.’
      • ‘The wanderer received a royal welcome in Santa Barbara from his mother-in-law and such brothers- and sisters-in-law as were about.’
      excellent, fine, marvellous, magnificent, splendid, superb, wonderful, first-rate, first-class
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    4. 1.4British informal attributive Real; utter (used for emphasis)
      ‘she's a right royal pain in the behind’
      • ‘Then there was the fact that his supervisor, Arthur Jones, was a royal pain.’
      • ‘Staff and residents at an Ilkley nursing home are preparing a right royal welcome for a special visitor to the town.’
      • ‘Last Tuesday her dedication and hard work received a right royal accolade.’
      • ‘This accident, sickness and unemployment cover is a right royal rip-off, as this article reveals!’
      • ‘He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his employees.’
      • ‘It was Richard's way of celebrating a right royal event - a half century of trading.’
      • ‘Not a great thing for a journalist hoping for a right royal row to report.’
      • ‘I'm all for getting out of my ill-lit, unpleasantly fragrant apartment, but going to the mall can be a royal pain.’
      • ‘This was somewhat surprising; usually it was a royal pain to get him to drive me anywhere.’
      • ‘Now to some that might sound like a right royal waste of money, but when you stop to think about how much said chair will be used the cost is much easier to justify.’
      • ‘I've worked with these a lot, and they're a royal pain.’
      • ‘A right royal welcome was extended to war veteran Reg Samways when he returned to Norway 63 years after playing his part in the rescue of King Haakon.’
      • ‘You know, algebra was a royal pain, literature was kind of boring, world history was alright.’
      • ‘Updating may be a snap with a cable modem, but it's a royal pain with even the fastest dial-up connection.’
      • ‘Until I discovered the website, my finances were in a right royal mess, and being in the red was something that happened almost every month.’
      • ‘2003 will go down in stock-market history as a right royal roller coaster of a year!’
      • ‘Justin was being a royal pain, so I took out a restraining order on him along about the end of August.’
      • ‘The princess wants to run away, much to the King and Queen's concern, and only our hero can prevent a right royal row.’
      • ‘Puppies are a royal pain, because they chew everything and you have to potty train them.’
      • ‘He may crave the role of honest voice in the wilderness, but what really pushes North's buttons is giving his old allies in the green movement a right royal kicking.’
      • ‘Now even the Queen herself has seen fit to give the London media a right royal ticking off.’
      • ‘They prepared a right royal welcome for her at Manchester - but she surprised them by arriving back in Rochdale unannounced to get the champagne corks popping.’
      • ‘For me, this was such an exciting story and a subject that's really never gotten the real royal cinematic treatment.’
      • ‘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.’
      complete, utter, total, real, absolute, thorough, veritable
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  • 1informal A member of the royal family.

    ‘the royals are coming under the TV microscope’
    • ‘The princess is the third royal to visit Saskatchewan in the last three years.’
    • ‘Mums are queuing up to get their hands on a classically designed pram favoured by royals and celebrities.’
    • ‘Church officials were anxious to point out that the Anglican leader entertains royals, visiting heads of state, top politicians and secular and religious leaders from home and abroad.’
    • ‘We don't live in a Renaissance city-state, or a monarchy where the royals and the aristocrats order up lots of art, portraits, and public buildings, and are patrons of writers.’
    • ‘One of the last great houses to be built in Cheshire is Henbury Hall, commissioned by Sebastian de Ferranti, the retired industrialist and friend of Prince Charles and other royals.’
    • ‘We also took a turn around some of the state rooms, sat on one of the royal sofas, and viewed vast collections of porcelain and pictures of Queen Victoria and her family and long-dead royals whose names we didn't recognise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like most royals, Ranjit Singh is a connoisseur of the arts.’
    • ‘It is traditionally a winter retreat for royals such as Prince Michael of Kent and King Juan Carlos of Spain, but it is fast becoming a playground for nouveau riche Russians.’
    • ‘He made a name for himself painting dogs and was commissioned to paint for various royals including King Edward VII and King George VI.’
    • ‘At 11.10 am Royal Family members, foreign royals and members of the Queen Mother's family will be seated.’
    • ‘Numerous monarchs and other royals are buried there as well.’
    • ‘Some 35 members of the Royal Family and 25 foreign royals were there to pay a personal tribute.’
    • ‘There will be a grand banquet Friday that is expected to be attended by thousands of royals and leaders from all over the world.’
    • ‘Among the guests who will attend the blessing, along with the senior British royals, foreign royals, dignitaries and a handful of politicians, will be a host of friends and celebrities.’
    • ‘At least seven prime ministers including Italy's Silvio Berlusconi are also expected to attend as are royals Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Britain's Prince Edward, among others.’
    • ‘Although the late Queen Mother remains her favourite royal, she has met Prince Charles numerous times.’
    • ‘Political leaders saddened by Princess Margaret's death have paid tribute to the popular royal.’
    monarch, sovereign, king, queen, emperor, empress, tsar, tsarina, prince, princess, potentate, head of state, leader, chief, ruler, lord, overlord
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  • 2

    short for royal sail or royal mast
  • 3

    short for royal stag
  • 4mass noun A paper size, 636 × 480 mm.

    1. 4.1 A book size, 234 × 156 mm.
    2. 4.2 A book size, 312 × 237 mm.
  • 5Bell-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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The therapist relied on the client's knowledgeability as the royal road to understanding.’
      • ‘With nations, as with individuals, dependency is not the royal road to prosperity.’
      • ‘And superior productivity is, of course, the royal road to higher wages.’
      • ‘It has become orthodoxy in most texts on politics and political science that something called ‘economic liberalisation’ is the royal road to international acceptability.’
      • ‘This view exemplifies the general scholarly preoccupation with context - historical, political, cultural and social - as the royal road to the successful interpretation of folklore.’
      • ‘Students are thus invited to follow the royal road into neoclassical economics and, in the process, forced to pay a substantial toll to the authors of the chosen textbook.’
      • ‘Freud famously said that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious; perhaps the movies offer another way to get there.’
      • ‘Variation and selection is the royal road to adaptive fitness.’
      • ‘The privatization of large banks and industries from the 1980s, though designed to limit the influence of the state bourgeoisie, actually increased pantouflage, as state service remained the royal road to these lucrative posts.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that Ben is right and the royal road to fame often involves poverty, hard work and a long training in one's art or craft.’


Late Middle English: from Old French roial, from Latin regalis ‘regal’.