1 [ree-guhl]
of or pertaining to a king; royal: the regal power.
befitting or resembling a king.
stately; splendid.

1300–50; Middle English < Latin rēgālis royal

regally, adverb
regalness, noun

2. See kingly.

3. base. Unabridged


2 [ree-guhl]
a portable reed organ of the 16th and 17th centuries.

1540–50; < Middle French regale < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To regal
World English Dictionary
regal1 (ˈriːɡəl)
of, relating to, or befitting a king or queen; royal
[C14: from Latin rēgālis from rēx king]

regal2 (ˈriːɡəl)
(sometimes plural) a portable organ equipped only with small reed pipes, popular from the 15th century and recently revived for modern performance
[C16: from French régale; of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 14c., from L. regalis "royal, kingly, belonging to a king," from rex (gen. regis) "king," from PIE base *reg- "move in a straight line," hence, "direct, rule, guide" (cf. Skt. raj- "a king, a leader;" Avestan razeyeiti "directs;" Pers. rahst "right, correct;" L. regere "to rule," rex "a king, a
leader," rectus "right, correct;" O.Ir. ri, Gaelic righ "a king;" Gaul. -rix "a king," in personal names, e.g. Vircingetorix; Goth. reiks "a leader;" O.E. rice "kingdom," -ric "king," rice "rich, powerful," riht "correct;" Goth. raihts, O.H.G. recht, O.Swed. reht, O.N. rettr "correct").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


a small, easily portable pipe organ usually having only a single set, or rank, of reed pipes. The beating reeds are surmounted by small resonators, producing a nasal, buzzing tone. Wind under pressure to sound the pipes is supplied by one or two bellows attached to the instrument and operated by the player or an assistant. The so-called bible regal, of the 16th century and later, can be folded up into the shape of a large book when not in use, hence its name. Regals, widely played in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, gained popularity as both solo and ensemble instruments. A regal is the instrument specified by Claudio Monteverdi to accompany brass instruments in an infernal scene in his music drama Orfeo (1607), and King Henry VIII of England evidently owned 17 regals of various sizes and pitches

Learn more about regal with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature