im·mi·nent | \ ˈi-mə-nənt \

Definition of imminent 

: ready to take place : happening soon … systems engineers have become rather blasé about the imminent liftoff. —Steven L. Thompson often used of something bad or dangerous seen as menacingly near imminent disasterLike books, board games appear headed for imminent demise at the hands of cathode-ray terminals. —Will Manley

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Other words from imminent

imminently adverb

Examples of imminent in a Sentence

The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the local authorities were momentarily stunned, and began frantically trying to prepare for what they feared were further imminent attacks. —Richard A. Clarke, Atlantic, January/February 2005 The compression squashes the bullet slightly, enabling about a half-dozen spiral grooves cut along the barrel's inner wall to grab the bullet and make it spin. That spin stabilizes the bullet's imminent flight. —Peter Weiss, Science News, 11 Jan. 2003 Plaints about the imminent demise of the language are made in every century. But there is usually nothing inherently wrong with most changes the purists deplore. —Steven Pinker, New York Times, 24 Dec. 1999 We are awaiting their imminent arrival. These patients are facing imminent death.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Yet Wil Myers’ imminent return from the disabled list pulled Reyes into Green’s office as the Padres prepared to leave for San Francisco last month. Jeff Sanders,, "Padres' Franmil Reyes savoring teachable moments," 13 July 2018 Keebler, shackled at the wrists and ankles and dressed in a striped jumpsuit, appeared calm as Judge David Sam ordered his imminent release in a federal courtroom in downtown Salt Lake City. Julian Hattem, The Seattle Times, "Militia leader who tried to bomb federal cabin released," 9 July 2018 There is no imminent plan for the NBA to return to Seattle. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Dwyane Wade wants to join an NBA ownership group after playing career, eyes Seattle," 23 June 2018 William MacKinnon, 49, was directed to report for treatment to a Veterans Administration facility, either in Illinois or Massachusetts, upon his imminent release from the DuPage County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in April 2017. Clifford Ward, Naperville Sun, "Army vet sentenced to probation for threats against Naperville school and Wheaton officials; will get treatment from VA," 14 June 2018 People with an imminent sense of threat coming from Russia have upped the ante, but the key point to be made here, in regard to the president's bluster is this, these people aren't exactly in -- rare in terms of paying in to NATO. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 Emre Can departing for Juventus before Keita’s imminent arrival was well timed., "Why New Liverpool Signing Naby Keita Has the Potential to Become One of the World's Best Midfielders," 12 July 2018 Born into a poor family of tatami-mat makers, the legally blind Asahara drew thousands of followers into his sect, which prophesied an imminent Armageddon in which its followers would seize power and achieve salvation. Author: Stuart Biggs, Gearoid Reidy, Anchorage Daily News, "Japan executes cult leader and 6 others for deadly 1995 sarin attack," 6 July 2018 Conservatives will have locked in a far-right majority; liberals will be reeling from nightmare visions of Roe’s imminent demise. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "How Democrats Plan to Turn Kennedy’s Retirement Into a Political Win," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imminent.' 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 imminent

1528, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for imminent

Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminēre to project, threaten, from in- + -minēre (akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain) — more at mount

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Statistics for imminent

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imminent

The first known use of imminent was in 1528

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More Definitions for imminent



English Language Learners Definition of imminent

: happening very soon


im·mi·nent | \ ˈi-mə-nənt \

Kids Definition of imminent

: being about to happen imminent danger

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More from Merriam-Webster on imminent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imminent

Spanish Central: Translation of imminent

Nglish: Translation of imminent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imminent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on imminent

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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