im·​mi·​nence | \ ˈi-mə-nən(t)s How to pronounce imminence (audio) \

Definition of imminence

1 : something imminent especially : impending evil or danger
2 : the quality or state of being imminent

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Examples of imminence in a Sentence

since the end of the Cold War, nuclear annihilation has seemed to be a less likely imminence
Recent Examples on the Web Yet a video of an internal Alaska pilot meeting shows Alaska executives, two weeks before the meltdown on April 1, were keenly aware of the imminence of an acute pilot shortage and the threat of chaos. Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Apr. 2022 Amid this atmosphere of imminence, the conservative Senator Josh Hawley, of Missouri, last week wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken arguing that the United States should reëvaluate its position. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 11 Feb. 2022 Despite the growing evidence to the contrary, many diplomats, officials, and analysts refused to seriously believe the American and British intelligence warnings about the imminence of an attack. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2022 In observing how Sunday signaled the sunny imminence of spring, such contrary indicators as the breezy chill of the day ought not be dismissed. Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2022 Biden spoke to a number of European leaders on Friday to underscore the concerns raised by U.S. intelligence about the potential imminence of a Russian invasion., 11 Feb. 2022 This was the White House position on the imminence of a potential attack last week, which Ukrainians pushed back strongly against. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 2 Feb. 2022 What finally jolts him out of his deadening routine is the imminence of actual death. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Jan. 2022 On what used to be referred to as the far right, but perhaps should now simply be called the armed wing of the Republican Party, the imminence of civil war is a given. Fintan O’toole, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imminence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of imminence

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imminence

borrowed from Late Latin imminentia, noun derivative from Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminēre "to project so as to overhang (of a structure or natural feature), be intent, impend (of something unpleasant or dangerous), threaten" — more at imminent

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The first known use of imminence was in 1606

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imminence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of imminence for Spanish Speakers


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