Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Imprimatur

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is imprimatur. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

An imprimatur is an official approval.

// The governor gave his imprimatur to the proposed reforms.


“Various uses for the land—some grandiose—have been floated and sunk over the years, but the latest proposal … was given the imprimatur of the city commission, which unanimously approved it…..” — Larry Keller, The Palm Beach Daily News, 14 Jan. 2022

Did You Know?

Imprimatur means “let it be printed” in New Latin. It comes from Latin imprimere, meaning to “imprint” or “impress.” In the 1600s, the word appeared in the front matter of books, accompanied by the name of an official authorizing the book’s printing. In time, English speakers began using imprimaturin the general sense of “official approval.”

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