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

Former government officials recently briefed on the administration’s efforts said no plan was imminent, delayed in part by the partial government shutdown and internal disagreements on how, exactly, to refashion the companies. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, "Lawmakers Promise Fresh Push to Overhaul Housing Finance," 24 Jan. 2019 With Sarri's arrival imminent, those behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge are working to bring in the players that the Italian wants, and the former Napoli boss is planning a bit of an overhaul., "Agent of Chelsea Target Matias Vecino Meets With Inter Officials to Discuss Contract Extension," 28 June 2018 Indy's new direct flights to Paris, which start May 24 on Delta Airlines, are being touted as a boon to business, but isn't a massive cultural exchange also imminent, with Hoosiers swapping ball caps for berets and saying VairCY instead of VerSAILS? Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Nonstop to Paris starts May 24: 4 weird ways the French have made history in Indiana," 22 May 2018 Reuters reported that while the discussions are exploratory in nature and no deal is imminent, the France family — which has owned NASCAR since its inception in 1948 — at least has real interest in selling the motorsports company. Brendan Marks And Katie Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Report: NASCAR majority owners exploring potential sale | Charlotte Observer," 7 May 2018 The losses interrupted the stock market’s rebound from a punishing year-end selloff and could signal another bout of volatility is imminent. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "Stocks Decline as Growth Concerns Resurface," 22 Jan. 2019 Steam rose from two smokestacks, the crew flitted among three decks, and a horn announced that departure was imminent. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Chanel Sets Sail for New York City," 15 Nov. 2018 The series wrapped filming in December, so a premiere date should be imminent! Vogue, "The 9 Pop-Culture Events We’re Most Excited About in 2019," 28 Dec. 2018 And while Microsoft might have been poised to eat the internet, Facebook is often accused of actually doing so and of being a global private government and an imminent threat to democracy to boot. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "How the antitrust battles of the ‘90s set the stage for today’s tech giants," 6 Sep. 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

17 Feb 2019

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).


excited commotion or publicity

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