Definition of emporium in US English:



  • 1A large retail store selling a wide variety of goods.

    • ‘After all, it seems that his French stores are more deeply loved than his increasingly deserted UK emporia.’
    • ‘You are still rubbing your eyes with wonderment and disbelief when the plane lands and you are welcomed into an airport emporium where hundreds of shops seduce you with designer bags, watches and one-kilogram bars of solid gold.’
    • ‘This is primarily a family destination, as witnessed by the myriad small amusement parks and large shopping emporia selling beanie babies along the main strip.’
    • ‘In a cute retro touch in our fashion special this week, you can cut out and keep your favourite outfits and present them at a shopping emporium near you for further instructions.’
    • ‘Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Russia, Sri Lanka and Canada are all extensions of their factories and workplaces and their glittering crafts are found in retail emporia around the world.’
    • ‘Dozens of high-end emporiums began to stock the company's signature purple boxes of truffles, and hotel chains signed on as customers.’
    • ‘Between 1850 and 1890, urban growth spawned giant emporiums that sold vast arrays of merchandise at fixed prices and provided services and amenities that encouraged customers to linger and browse.’
    • ‘Midtown gets mighty crowded, but it's the place to go for department stores and designer emporiums.’
    • ‘Still, the best news may be the growing evidence that, to win over younger shoppers, department stores simply need to get better at being what they used to be: beautifully designed emporiums that gather unique products in one place.’
    • ‘From the less known feather dusters to the famous clay terracotta horse sold in leading Indian emporiums - Bengal produces a wide variety of handicrafts.’
    • ‘When it was finished Marsh's store was obviously going to be a fine emporium.’
    • ‘Glasgow's restaurants and retail emporia lead the way in beating recession through manic shopping.’
    • ‘And both companies are targeting women, who may be more likely to walk into a boutique-style store than the disorienting emporiums where most gadgets are sold.’
    • ‘They survive thanks to a loyal clientele, and a store buyer who wants to give the impression that you can find whatever you need at this emporium.’
    • ‘Take the site of the Sogo Department Store, a high-end emporium that once sold everything from elegant kimonos to shockingly expensive packets of dried seaweed.’
    shop, store, boutique, outlet, retail outlet, reseller
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A business establishment that specializes in products or services on a large scale (often used for humorously formal effect)
      ‘the world-famous food emporium’
      ‘you know those half-automated carwash emporia that advertise an “all-cloth wash?”’
      • ‘It's full of TV repair shops and cut-price mattress emporiums and cellphone franchises.’
      • ‘One emporium visited seemed to sell every conceivable kind and color of cowboy boot.’
      • ‘It was the usual mix of charity shops, fast-food emporia and pound shops.’
      • ‘I'll have to investigate my local British food emporium next time I go to load up on kippers, proper bacon and so forth.’
      • ‘For what looks like a hot dog stand is in fact an oatmeal emporium offering the fast food fan a choice of eight different recipes.’
      • ‘I dragged him to our local antique shop, an emporium I trawl through every few weeks checking out the stock.’
      • ‘You'll find roughly the same number and variety of fast food emporiums as in the States.’
      • ‘The once-vibrant beach towns became backwaters with a flotsam of struggling T-shirt shops, musty antiques emporiums, and dinky little eateries that seemed to have more surfboards parked outside than cars.’
      • ‘Drinkers at an established Malton drinking emporium may feel a little disorientated after marketing people gave it a bright, new facelift.’
      • ‘Charlie is a man from another village with a grudge against the super video emporium that has put him out of business.’
      • ‘And I don't merely sell books, I operate a literary emporium.’
      • ‘I will walk the streets with bulging carrier bags, heading purposefully for all those little shops and emporiums that only I know of, and I will hunt down gifts of character, originality and ingenuity.’
      • ‘After paying for my gas, I stand at my car for a moment and look up and down the street that is filled with every kind of junk food emporium you can think of, looking for a lit sign that might be calling my name.’
      • ‘You stand paralyzed with indecision in the middle of the road as a member of the counter staff from each shop tries to stare you in to his/her take away food emporium.’
      • ‘These sorts of food emporiums are my idea of paradise. Shelf upon shelf of culinary treasure - even the packaging gets me excited.’
      • ‘This particular BBQ emporium also boasts a large bar and plenty of wall-mounted televisions always tuned into ‘the’ game.’
      • ‘This is an emporium dedicated to teeth, selling everything from ergonomically designed toothbrushes to designer pastes and molar-shaped clocks.’
      • ‘The only thing I can recall signing up for that was based in Chicago was many years ago when as a treat for a friend, I ordered some hot dogs from Fluky's, a famous Chicago frankfurter emporium.’
    2. 1.2archaic A principal center of commerce; a market.
      • ‘The labor to create a commercial emporium required thousands of workers, who made Baltimore one of the new nation's most diverse, plebeian - and in the eyes of some, disorderly - cities.’
      • ‘Edged by marble columns, the marble-floored space in the bank will retain some of the features of its banking past - the counters in the centre will remain, to be incorporated into the emporium.’
      • ‘Zanzibar is one of Dublin's premier cattle mart emporiums.’
      • ‘The tangled streets surrounding the expired emporium offer little competition: just ragged lots and puny structures in even more advanced stages of decay.’
      shopping centre, marketplace, mart, retail outlet, flea market, fair, bazaar, piazza, plaza
      View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin, from Greek emporion, from emporos ‘merchant’, based on a stem meaning ‘to journey’.