Definition of royalty in English:



  • 1[mass noun] People of royal blood or status.

    ‘diplomats, heads of state, and royalty shared tables at the banquet’
    • ‘By the entrance are various commemorative plaques honouring the visits of recent British royalty and grandest noblemen of Norman roots, such as the Duke of Norfolk.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Amanda observed and watched the conversations silently as she ate among the table of royalty.’
    • ‘The Fur Trade began in earnest in medieval times in Europe, when it involved the hunting of European animals to stock the wardrobes of the nobility and royalty.’
    • ‘The Archduke's houseguests included artists, intellectuals and royalty.’
    • ‘Because damask table linen was very expensive at this time, it was owned only by royalty, the nobility and the wealthiest merchants.’
    • ‘This was where he threw lavish shikar parties for his guests, mainly other royalty and British dignitaries.’
    • ‘The old view, espoused by Aeschylus and Shakespeare and many in between, was that good drama must involve royalty or nobility.’
    • ‘Again royalty gathered in grandeur, with trumpets blaring, to witness the baptism of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth.’
    • ‘As part of a distinguished tradition of parading in front of royalty, members of the regiment marked the royal visit by wearing oak leaves in their berets.’
    • ‘As I matured, so did my interest in royalty and, in particular, the British royal family.’
    • ‘I think there's an ongoing interest not only the British royal family, but royalty in general.’
    • ‘Traditional use ranges from the formal to the informal, occasions to honor royalty and private gatherings of family and friends.’
    • ‘It was home to chiefs and members of Tahitian royalty in the 19th Century.’
    • ‘This is not to say that there are no descendants of the early Bohemian nobility and royalty remaining today.’
    • ‘The livery company can trace its line back to the 15th century, when its craftsmen made the silver and gold threads used on the embroidered garments worn by royalty and nobility.’
    • ‘Rather than rare luxuries for royalty or nobility, well-made gloves were soon to be made available for everyone.’
    • ‘The best-documented death rituals were those associated with royalty or high nobility.’
    • ‘By the time of the Spanish Conquest, it was reared as a table bird and eaten by royalty.’
    stateliness, dignity, magnificence, pomp, solemnity, grandeur, grandness, splendour, resplendence, glory, impressiveness, superbness, awesomeness, awe, loftiness, sublimity, regalness, regality, royalty, royalness, kingliness, queenliness, nobility, nobleness, augustness, exaltedness, exaltation, pride
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    1. 1.1A member of a royal family.
      ‘she swept by as if she were royalty’
      • ‘For instance, each room built for royalty was to fit each member of the court no matter what time of day, holiday, or placement.’
      • ‘The council decided that since Samantha was royalty, she would be a member of the council.’
      • ‘If Yeoman treated her employees like family, she treated her customers like royalty.’
    2. 1.2The status or power of a king or queen.
      ‘the brilliance of her clothes, her jewels, all revealed her royalty’
      • ‘The title of princess, and later Queen, comes with not only the joys of royalty, but with great responsibility and knowledge.’
    3. 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’
      • ‘Earlier this year Wilson performed "Smile" in London to a distinguished audience of pop royalty.’
      • ‘A posse of presidents will mix with rock royalty and an expected 30,000 guests at the grand opening today of the presidential library.’
      • ‘We were breathing the same air as sporting royalty.’
      • ‘The group's fourth album, A Night at the Opera, cemented them as music royalty.’
      • ‘They were on the fringe in the early 80s, but they're virtually rock royalty now.’
      • ‘We even had a minor brush with country music royalty, although all of us save one missed it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Despite any simmering private differences, by the mid-1990 s, the couple had established themselves as Hollywood royalty.’
      • ‘She's marrying into Hollywood royalty.’
      • ‘In her 20s, Coppola dabbled in modelling, photography and clothes design, occasionally shooting videos for America's alternative rock royalty.’
      • ‘In the stands only a few clued-in tennis fans are aware they are in the presence of tennis royalty.’
      • ‘In 1997, Liam and Patsy were rock royalty, crowned on the cover of Vanity Fair in a hail of Cool Britannia bluster.’
      • ‘As the daughter of Ol' Blue Eyes himself and having famously had a fling with the King of Pop, Elvis, Nancy Sinatra is probably about as close as you can get to being music royalty.’
      • ‘He's been the jeweler to kings, emperors, and even Hollywood royalty.’
  • 2A sum 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.

    ‘the royalties paid to writers for recorded music’
    • ‘We get paid for making records and we get a royalty on what is sold of course, but we're self-financing.’
    • ‘The book is just €14.99 and all the royalties from the book are being donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland so you'll be doing your bit for charity as well as having a good read!’
    • ‘It seems unlikely that authors will receive outstanding royalties, though some have vowed to contact liquidators in the hopes of seeing some of the money they are owed.’
    • ‘Under the terms of the Public Lending Rights scheme, introduced in 1983, authors can receive royalties on the use of their books in libraries in Britain and in several other European countries.’
    • ‘An advance on the book's royalties helped finance the show.’
    • ‘In international prizes like the Nobel, Booker, Prix Goncourt, National Book Award, the book runs into several editions and millions of copies are sold, and the royalties are high.’
    • ‘It is worth pointing out, by the way, that all the contributors have agreed to donate their author royalties to the Simon Communities of Ireland.’
    • ‘The impressive popularity of radio and jukeboxes became another profitable source of income for the music industry, thanks to royalties for every public performance of music.’
    • ‘I've brought you the details of our standard deal for paying the composer's royalties.’
    • ‘In the U.S. three major performance rights organizations collect royalties for songwriters, composers and music publishers.’
    • ‘Authors receive 100 percent royalties on electronic book sales of up to $300 and 40 percent thereafter.’
    • ‘Compulsory licensing was introduced in response to a Supreme Court decision that deprived composers of royalties.’
    • ‘I was virtually unemployed at the time - living off of royalties from my last performance in a commercial.’
    • ‘The composer, on the other hand, shares the royalties on copies of his or her music that are sold and fees accruing from performances.’
    • ‘Annual royalties for composers collected in Europe alone total about €600 million.’
    • ‘In the Republic of Ireland, this is a successful national policy; artists can claim a tax exemption for things like book and song royalties.’
    • ‘He challenged musicians to pay royalties to original composers so as to appreciate their creativity and talent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Paule, who currently serves on the center's board of directors, donates all royalties from his book to the program.’
  • 3A royal right (now especially over minerals) granted by the sovereign to an individual or corporation.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the Nunavut government has no means of obtaining revenue from mineral production royalties - only Ottawa can do that.’
    • ‘The document says Nunavut must work out a new formula financing agreement with the federal government, as well as a devolution agreement on the sharing of natural resource royalties.’
    monarch, sovereign, king, queen, emperor, empress, tsar, tsarina, prince, princess, potentate, head of state, leader, chief, ruler, lord, overlord
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    1. 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.
      • ‘The Department of Mineral Resources has proposed companies involved in mining pay royalties to provincial governments directly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My wife is receiving oil royalties on property that she inherited from her parents.’
      • ‘They were granted royalties from the leasing of oil, mineral or access rights to a remaining 11 million acres.’
      • ‘After the company stopped producing at its giant oil field (the size of Greece) in Southern Sudan over twenty years ago, it continued to pay royalties to maintain its right to come back one day.’
      • ‘With jobs and direct royalties from the Alpine oil field, Nuiqsut has more money, but also more crime, fourfold that of Kaktovik.’
      • ‘If issues of this nature were being followed to the book, the firm would have been paying taxes to the Government and royalties to the local chiefs.’
      • ‘All of this comes not only from the jobs provided by these corporations but also from royalties paid by the industry based on the amount of a given mineral extracted from a province.’
      • ‘It has ignored the country's demands to put the disbursement of royalties on hold until the sovereignty dispute is settled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While some petroleum and big diamond projects potentially generate huge royalties, most mines, diamonds and gold included, simply do not.’
      • ‘This amendment granted Alberta and Saskatchewan the right to exercise control over the land, natural resources, and royalties derived from their exploitation.’
      • ‘The miners pay no royalties on the $1 billion in minerals and metals they dig up each year.’
      • ‘The law rubber-stamped what people had already begun to do: enter public land and take minerals without paying a royalty.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, he has abolished many of the royalties due on North Sea oil and slashed corporation taxes.’


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.