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[im-pri-mah-ter, -mey-, -prahy-] /ˌɪm prɪˈmɑ tər, -ˈmeɪ-, -praɪ-/
an official license to print or publish a book, pamphlet, etc., especially a license issued by a censor of the Roman Catholic Church.
Compare nihil obstat.
sanction or approval; support:
Our plan has the company president's imprimatur.
1630-40; < New Latin: let it be printed, Latin: let it be made by pressing upon (something); see impress1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for imprimatur
  • The author's name has to be invoked as a pretentious highbrow imprimatur.
  • Some lawyers refuse to recognise his appointment without the president's imprimatur.
  • Both books have the imprimatur of the scientific community and have received excellent reviews.
  • But they also serve their shareholders, who profit whenever that imprimatur shows up on a security, safe or not.
  • But the governor's imprimatur is generally the last step of the appointment process.
  • It was not my job to give an imprimatur to the hearings.
  • Now the regime hires star architects to give the imprimatur of global capitalism.
  • Textbooks containing an imprimatur may not be ordered.
  • In effect, jurisdictions regulate themselves by way of these compacts, with the imprimatur of federal law.
  • It is simpler to use the government sponsored imprimatur than to decide on what alternatives to use.
British Dictionary definitions for imprimatur


/ˌɪmprɪˈmeɪtə; -ˈmɑː-/
(RC Church) a licence granted by a bishop certifying the Church's approval of a book to be published
sanction, authority, or approval, esp for something to be printed
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, literally: let it be printed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for imprimatur

1640, Modern Latin, literally "let it be printed," the formula of a book licenser, third person singular present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere "to print" (see impress). Originally of state license to print books, later only of Roman Catholic Church.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for imprimatur

(Latin: "let it be printed"), in the Roman Catholic church, a permission, required by contemporary canon law and granted by a bishop, for the publication of any work on Scripture or, in general, any writing containing something of peculiar significance to religion, theology, or morality. Strictly speaking, the imprimatur is nothing more than the permission. But because its concession must be preceded by the favourable judgment of a censor (nihil obstat: "nothing hinders [it from being printed]"), the term has come to imply ecclesiastical approval of the publication itself. Nevertheless, the imprimatur is not an episcopal endorsement of the content, nor is it a guarantee of doctrinal integrity. It does indicate that nothing offensive to faith or morals has been discovered in the work

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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