• An official license by the Roman Catholic Church to print an ecclesiastical or religious book.
  • A person’s acceptance or guarantee that something is of a good standard.

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Example Sentences

“Father Matthews decided to seek an imprimatur for his book on religious symbols in the Catholic faith.”

“Her debut novel was marked with an imprimatur from the bestselling horror writer of the decade.”

“The young designer received an informal imprimatur when the star wore his dress on the red carpet.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-17th century

Why this word?

Translated directly from Latin, “imprimatur” means “let it be printed.” The first (and still active) use of the word was from the Catholic Church granting an official license to print a religious book. In a secular sense, “imprimatur” is a synonym for “endorsement.” An endorsement on a toothpaste that promises approval from a certain number of dentists, for example, is an imprimatur.

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