Em"pire (?), n. [F., fr. L. imperium a command, sovereignty, dominion, empire, fr. imperare. See Emperor; cf. Imperial.]


Supreme power; sovereignty; sway; dominion.

"The empire of the sea."


Over hell extend His empire, and with iron scepter rule. Milton.


The dominion of an emperor; the territory or countries under the jurisdiction and dominion of an emperor (rarely of a king), usually of greater extent than a kingdom, always comprising a variety in the nationality of, or the forms of administration in, constituent and subordinate portions; as, the Austrian empire.

Empire carries with it the idea of a vast and complicated government. C. J. Smith.


Any dominion; supreme control; governing influence; rule; sway; as, the empire of mind or of reason.

"Under the empire of facts."

M. Arnold.

Another force which, in the Middle Ages, shared with chivalry the empire over the minds of men. A. W. Ward.

Celestial empire. See under Celestial. -- Empire City, a common designation of the city of New York. -- Empire State, a common designation of the State of New York.

Syn. -- Sway; dominion; rule; control; reign; sovereignty; government; kingdom; realm; state.


© Webster 1913.