Actually it is just a place ruled by an emperor. Sometimes they are used incorrectly e.g Red Empire in Eastern Europe, the Persian Empire e.t.c
It is often used now to define one country which forces other countries to serve it by force and oppresion, this I would not put as a correct term as it includes superpowers and would therefore make this term invalid.
Rome was the first true empire as the term came from the military title imperartor
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