Pronunciation: (im-pēr'ē-um), [key]
—pl. -pe•ri•aPronunciation: (-pēr'ē-u), [key] -pe•ri•ums.
1. command; supreme power.
2. area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
3. a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.
4. Law.the right to command the force of the state in order to enforce the law.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.