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

The most interesting part of Juli Hayden’s commentary is not her thoughts regarding immigration, calls for border security or her perception that fleeing Central American migrants are an imminent threat., "Immigrants want what we have: the American Dream," 12 July 2018 While this mass inside the electronic device was obviously not an imminent terrorist threat to the traveling public, the interception did prevent a possible wildlife threat on an aircraft. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Passenger Tried to Smuggle Large Snake on a Plane, TSA Says," 10 July 2018 While this mass inside the electronic device was obviously not an imminent terrorist threat to the traveling public, the interception did prevent a possible wildlife threat on an aircraft. Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "A snake almost made it on a plane at Miami International Airport," 9 July 2018 In the face of the imminent threat of death or great bodily harm posed by Robert Issa, the use of deadly force by Ofc. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Troy officer justified in fatal shooting, prosecutor says," 25 June 2018 Doctors have a professional and legal responsibility to notify authorities if patients pose an imminent threat to others or themselves. WSJ, "Should Doctors Routinely Talk to Patients About Gun Use?," 24 June 2018 There was never any indication of an imminent threat to the children during the standoff as authorities talked to the suspect while SWAT team members studied the apartment layout, according to police. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Orlando officer shot in deadly standoff is fighting for his life, wife says," 14 June 2018 Human Rights Watch contended in its statement that the mostly unarmed protesters didn't pose an imminent threat to Israeli troops or civilians, and therefore the use of live fire suggests a violation of international law. Ilan Ben Zion, Jewish Journal, "Rights group: Israeli lethal force in Gaza may be war crime," 13 June 2018 Valenzuela's imminent departure is the latest in a series of City Hall shufflings spurred by former Mayor Greg Stanton's resignation in May to run for Congress. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Daniel Valenzuela to step down July 16 to run for Phoenix mayor," 6 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

10 Nov 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

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playful or foolish behavior

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