Definition of imprimatur in US English:



  • 1An official license by the Roman Catholic Church to print an ecclesiastical or religious book.

    • ‘And the document dealing with it wasn't issued by the Pope, though it bore his imprimatur.’
    • ‘That particular debate, so far as the Church was concerned, had been closed since at least 1741 when Benedict XIV bid the Holy Office grant an imprimatur to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo.’
    • ‘In 1564 the original list became an updated and patrolled index, with professional theologians censoring texts and affixing imprimaturs, denying approval, or delaying approval until corrections were made.’
    • ‘Summers declared, ‘As Baptists we need no one man to stamp an imprimatur, nihil obstat on our writings.’’
    • ‘It was published by Perlado, Paez y Compania of Madrid, with the imprimatur of the bishop and ecclesiastic governor of Madrid-Alcala.’
    permit, certificate, document, documentation, authorization, warrant, voucher, diploma
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    1. 1.1in singular A person's acceptance or guarantee that something is of a good standard.
      ‘the original LP enjoyed the imprimatur of the composer’
      • ‘It's a sign of the times that the imprimatur of a business carries more authority than do the efforts of an individual arts professional.’
      • ‘The funny thing is, Goldberg's endorsement may not be the imprimatur it may have seemed.’
      • ‘When people hear this from the deputy leader of Fine Gael, they assume it has the imprimatur of the party,’ he added.’
      • ‘It's given a kind of official imprimatur, because they build their kids up to be cheerleaders or jocks and they're openly disappointed if they don't make it.’
      • ‘For the first time in more than a century the ruling elite in the United States is about to place its official imprimatur on what it knows to be a stolen election.’
      • ‘A nod of commiseration gains the force of imprimatur, becoming an official endorsement of the validity of his opinions.’
      • ‘One view is that they must receive the imprimatur of State consent through custom or treaty in order to become international law.’
      • ‘Sands has used his connections in senior legal circles to provide a detailed account of the Labour government's manoeuvres to secure legal advice giving official imprimatur to the war.’
      • ‘No religious entity gets the government's imprimatur to further its religious mission, under the proper understanding of the Establishment Clause.’
      • ‘Nowadays, even advanced states routinely forego the diplomatic niceties, though all seek and welcome the imprimatur of international support and recognition when they can get it.’
      • ‘The UN had already given the US its imprimatur by passing this month's Security Council resolution explicitly calling for international aid for Iraq.’
      • ‘How many times in the past several months has the Kerry campaign implied that they have McCain's imprimatur on a key issue?’
      • ‘State officials would then be giving their formal imprimatur to actions that the various Conventions condemn without exception.’
      • ‘Yet even those newspapers that were not published directly by the government continued to seek its consent and imprimatur.’
      • ‘All of the agreements to give back job security provisions and workplace safeguards won over previous decades bear the imprimatur of the unions and their factory representatives.’
      • ‘This idea seemed so outlandish to Einstein that he kept Kaluza's paper for two years before giving it his final imprimatur.’
      • ‘Buoyed by the religious imprimatur, the country's Shia majority is increasingly looking forward to exercising their democratic rights.’
      • ‘Any choice program ought to very carefully avoid the appearance or reality of a government imprimatur for any particular brand of religious education.’
      • ‘The paper still bears the imprimatur of this considered effort in art direction, and I would have to say that in an age of speed reading, the notion that elegant typography actually slows you down is, I think, a good thing.’
      • ‘Yeah, but the Comission has given its official imprimatur to this, so they're at least somewhat complicit.’
      authorization, approval, seal of approval, agreement, consent, assent, permission, endorsement, ratification, sanction, approbation, acquiescence, confirmation, blessing, leave
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Mid 17th century: from Latin, ‘let it be printed’, from the verb imprimere (see imprint).