Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

importune

play
adjective im·por·tune \ˌim-pər-ˈtün, -ˈtyün; im-ˈpȯr-ˌ, -chən\

Definition of importune

im·por·tune·ly adverb


Origin of importune

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French importun, from Latin importunus, from in- + -portunus (as in opportunus fit) — more at opportune


First Known Use: 15th century


2

importune

verb im·por·tune

Simple Definition of importune

  • : to ask (someone) for something or to do something in a repeated or annoying way

Full Definition of importune

importunedimportun·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to press or urge with troublesome persistence b archaic :  to request or beg for urgently

  3. 2 :  annoy, trouble

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to beg, urge, or solicit persistently or troublesomely

im·por·tun·er noun

Examples of importune

  1. He stood on the street corner, importuning passersby for help.

  2. He importuned them to help.



1530

First Known Use of importune

1530

Synonym Discussion of importune

beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently. beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking <they begged for help>. entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance <entreated me to join them>. beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety <I beseech you to have mercy> <implored her not to leave>. supplicate suggests a posture of humility <with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord>. adjure implies advising as well as pleading <we were adjured to tell the truth>. importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance <importuning viewers for donations>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up importune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ