early 13c., from Old French empereor "emperor, leader, ruler" (11c.; accusative; nominative emperere; Modern French empereur), from Latin imperatorem (nominative imperator) "commander, emperor," from past participle stem of imperare "to command" (see empire).
Originally a title conferred by vote of the Roman army on a successful general, later by the Senate on Julius and Augustus Caesar and adopted by their successors except Tiberius and Claudius. In the Middle Ages, applied to rulers of China, Japan, etc.; non-historical European application in English had been only to the Holy Roman Emperors (who in German documents are called kaiser), from late 13c., until in 1804 Napoleon took the title "Emperor of the French."
"woman who rules over an empire," mid-12c., emperice, from Old French emperesse, fem. of emperere (see emperor). Queen Victoria in 1876 became one as "Empress of India."
*perə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to produce, procure" and yielding and derived words in diverse senses; possibly related to *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."
It forms all or part of: ante-partum; apparatus; apparel; biparous; disparate; emperor; empire; heifer; imperative; imperator; imperial; juniper; multiparous; nulliparous; oviparous; para- (2) "defense, protection against; that which protects from;" Parabellum; parachute; parade; parados; parapet; parasol; pare; parent; -parous; parry; parturient; poor; post-partum; preparation; prepare; primipara; puerperal; rampart; repair (v.1) "to mend, put back in order;" repertory; separate; sever; several; spar (v.); viper; vituperation; viviparous.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal;" Greek poris "calf, bull;" Latin parare "make ready, prepare," parire "produce, bring forth, give birth to;" Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf;" Lithuanian periu, perėti "to brood;" Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull."
1727, former title of the emperor of Japan, from mi "honorable" + kado "gate, portal." Similar to Sublime Porte, old title of the Ottoman emperor/government, and Pharaoh, which literally means "great house."
"period of rule of emperor Mutsuhito" (1868-1912), which was marked by modernization and Westernization, 1873, from Japanese, said to mean literally "enlightened government."
name of three Persian rulers, notably Darius the Great, Persian emperor 521-485 B.C.E., from Greek Darius, from Old Persian Darayavaus, probably literally "he who holds firm the good," from PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support."