im·​mi·​nence ˈi-mə-nən(t)s How to pronounce imminence (audio)
: something imminent
especially : impending evil or danger
: the quality or state of being imminent

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 Police departments evaluate threats for credibility and imminence and the necessary resources are deployed to address the threat. Zenebou Sylla, CNN, 27 July 2023 There were indications of a decline in the event’s significance by 1916, when the news of its imminence was placed under a one-column headline on Page 12 of the May 29 (a Monday) editions of The San Diego Union. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2023 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. Dallas News, 12 Feb. 2022 But almost every hour suggested the imminence of rain, soft rain of the sort that deters few outdoor excursions but seems needed for floral development. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2023 For now, those check-ins appear to be more about diligence than imminence, with the Clippers seen as being patient before a move, if any, materializes. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 14 Mar. 2023 This flight is leaving imminently, and its imminence is made highly apparent by people associated with LaChapelle, within earshot of LaChapelle, who nonetheless settles deeper into a chartreuse velvet sofa near the crackling fire of the Greenwich Hotel and orders tea and scones. Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 29 Nov. 2022 Lockdown in Bucharest ended in late May 2020; sensing the imminence of Covid’s second wave, Jude and his producer, Ada Solomon, rushed the film into production before it was fully funded, shooting on the city’s streets with masks mandatory for the crew and cast, off camera as well as on. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 31 July 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'imminence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of imminence was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near imminence

Cite this Entry

“Imminence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​mi·​nence ˈim-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce imminence (audio)
: the quality or state of being imminent

More from Merriam-Webster on imminence

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