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’
    • ‘Boromo Trailokanat resolved the question of succession by ranking every member of the royal family in relation to the reigning monarch.’
    • ‘The dramatic scenery has also attracted famous visitors over the years, including composer Edvard Grieg and members of Norway's royal family.’
    • ‘The members of the royal family who are in line to the throne cannot take the chances that our children and grandchildren would take.’
    • ‘It is hoped a visit by a member of the royal family will take place on June 18.’
    • ‘The royal couple greeted villagers after attending a church service this morning.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The play is about Anastasia Romanov, a member of the Russian royal family, after the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1918.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fraud was discovered after two diamonds sold for $15 million to members of the Saudi royal family.’
    • ‘Factions formed around the heir to the throne and other members of the royal family as well as in the entourage of ministers.’
    • ‘In addition to all this, they've had several members of the royal family, government officials and business leaders visiting from Thailand.’
    • ‘Prince Fahd was the third member of the Saudi royal family to die in just over a week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘State honors, generally reserved for members of the Nepalese royal family, were given to Babu Chhiri, who established at least two climbing records.’
    • ‘The Queen is not the only member of the royal family to have personal flags.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Altogether, 36 members of the royal family attended, including the princes William and Harry.’
    regal, monarchal, monarchial, monarchical, sovereign, kingly, queenly, princely, majestic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Belonging to or carried out or exercised by a king or queen.
      ‘the royal palace’
      ‘the coalition obtained royal approval for the appointment’
      • ‘Otley's new £15m hospital was given the royal seal of approval when it was officially opened by Princess Anne.’
      • ‘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 Andrew of Greece was reburied in the royal Summer Palace at Tatoi in Athens.’
      • ‘In 1830, it was granted royal patronage by Queen Victoria and became the Manchester Royal Infirmary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Restoration brought back the Stuarts but not intensive royal patronage.’
      • ‘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 1699 he was again under royal patronage working for William III and Mary at Hampton Court.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Numerous imperial and royal palaces survived into the early Middle Ages and were restored or rebuilt.’
      • ‘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 lending large sums to Henry III and Edward I, they obtained royal patronage and protection.’
      • ‘Prince Charles gave the royal seal of approval to the appeal launched by St John's Church in Devizes by attending a fundraising concert.’
      • ‘Castles, stately homes and royal palaces comprise nine per cent of all listed buildings and industrial heritage accounts for five per cent.’
      • ‘I can see the great royal palace of Mandalay, shimmering across the moat.’
      • ‘The magnificence of royal palaces, no matter how richly appointed, cannot take away the disappointment of a bad performance.’
      • ‘From here you can walk to Amalienborg, the royal palace, the impressive buildings of which are patrolled by guards in busbies.’
      • ‘Stuart and Rosemary Robson have translated and edited eighteen essays about Javanese royal palaces in the late colonial period.’
      regal, kingly, queenly, kinglike, queenlike, princely
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[attributive]In the service or under the patronage of a king or queen.
      ‘a royal maid’
      • ‘The TV chef once worked as a royal footman at Buckingham Palace, where he noted that the Queen hated food to be thrown away.’
      • ‘The most famous traditional costumes in England are the red uniforms and high black hats worn by the royal guard at Buckingham Palace.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When a guest at a ball for royal staff at Buckingham Palace the Duke asked her what she thought of the food.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She had been a royal Maid of Honour from 1853 and her marriage had brought her closer to the throne.’
    3. 1.3[attributive]Of a quality or size suitable for a king or queen; splendid.
      ‘a royal fortune’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His visit had been a big media event in the Gulf too and he was accorded a royal welcome at the Dubai airport.’
      • ‘When we arrived at the club we got somewhat of a royal welcome and were ushered inside to a table set for six.’
      • ‘Certainly there was a royal quality to the servings - I struggled to finish them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The people of Tory Island and their King were treated to a royal welcome in Monasterevin last weekend.’
      • ‘This weekend bonanza got off to a flying start when the guests were welcomed in the royal traditional style, garlanded and saluted by elephants.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4informal Unmitigated; extreme.
      ‘he might turn out to be a royal pain’
      • ‘Updating may be a snap with a cable modem, but it's a royal pain with even the fastest dial-up connection.’
      • ‘You know, algebra was a royal pain, literature was kind of boring, world history was alright.’
      • ‘Puppies are a royal pain, because they chew everything and you have to potty train them.’
      • ‘I've worked with these a lot, and they're a royal pain.’
      • ‘Then there was the fact that his supervisor, Arthur Jones, was a royal pain.’
      • ‘He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his employees.’
      • ‘This was somewhat surprising; usually it was a royal pain to get him to drive me anywhere.’
      • ‘Justin was being a royal pain, so I took out a restraining order on him along about the end of August.’
      • ‘I'm all for getting out of my ill-lit, unpleasantly fragrant apartment, but going to the mall can be a royal pain.’
      complete, utter, total, real, absolute, thorough, veritable
      View synonyms


  • 1informal A member of a royal family, especially in England.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He made a name for himself painting dogs and was commissioned to paint for various royals including King Edward VII and King George VI.’
    • ‘The princess is the third royal to visit Saskatchewan in the last three years.’
    • ‘Political leaders saddened by Princess Margaret's death have paid tribute to the popular royal.’
    • ‘Some 35 members of the Royal Family and 25 foreign royals were there to pay a personal tribute.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like most royals, Ranjit Singh is a connoisseur of the arts.’
    • ‘Numerous monarchs and other royals are buried there as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At 11.10 am Royal Family members, foreign royals and members of the Queen Mother's family will be seated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Mums are queuing up to get their hands on a classically designed pram favoured by royals and celebrities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There will be a grand banquet Friday that is expected to be attended by thousands of royals and leaders from all over the world.’
    monarch, sovereign, king, queen, emperor, empress, tsar, tsarina, prince, princess, potentate, head of state, leader, chief, ruler, lord, overlord
    View synonyms
  • 2

    short for royal sail or royal mast
  • 3A paper size, now standardized at 636 × 480 mm.

    1. 3.1A book size, now standardized at 234 × 156 mm.
    2. 3.2A book size, now standardized at 312 × 237 mm.


  • royal road to

    • A way of attaining or reaching something without trouble.

      ‘there is no royal road to teaching’
      • ‘It has become orthodoxy in most texts on politics and political science that something called ‘economic liberalisation’ is the royal road to international acceptability.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This view exemplifies the general scholarly preoccupation with context - historical, political, cultural and social - as the royal road to the successful interpretation of folklore.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Variation and selection is the royal road to adaptive fitness.’
      • ‘Freud famously said that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious; perhaps the movies offer another way to get there.’


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