imp

1 of 3

noun

1
a
: a small demon : fiend
b
: a mischievous child : urchin
2
obsolete : shoot, bud
also : graft entry 1

imp

2 of 3

verb

imped; imping; imps

transitive verb

1
: to graft or repair (a wing, tail, or feather) with a feather to improve a falcon's flying capacity
2
: to equip with wings

imp

3 of 3

abbreviation

1
imperative
2
imperfect
3
imperial
4
import; imported

Examples of imp in a Sentence

Noun scooped up the little imp and took him to bed a story about a crumbling mansion infested with a brood of imps
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Imagine a mischievous imp lurking in the shadows, eager to eavesdrop on your whispers to the AI or peek at its replies. Moran Zavdi, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Bernard worked endless hours at the auction house because that’s what his evil imp of a boss (Alan Cumming) demanded. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Over time, the imp vanished from the original, too. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Nov. 2023 The Lord rebuke you, Satan, and all of your demons and all of your imps will come and parade before us. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 11 Apr. 2023 The real imp was inside (or actually is? Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, 31 Dec. 2020 In addition to his considerable show business influence, Bragman was a notorious imp. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 5 Mar. 2023 Her Richard is an entitled aristo rather than a calculating imp, a swaggering T. rex instead of a darting velociraptor. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 11 July 2022 Together, the five –- plus an extra character, a pet imp named Beans – completed the Dire Dogs. Annie Nickoloff, cleveland, 27 May 2022
Verb
Imping, her father had called this sort of frenzied picking. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2017

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English impe, from Old English impa, from impian to imp

Verb

Middle English, from Old English impian to graft, from Vulgar Latin *imputare, from Late Latin impotus grafted shoot, from Greek emphytos implanted, from emphyein to implant, from em- en- entry 2 + phyein to bring forth — more at be

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of imp was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near imp

Cite this Entry

“Imp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imp. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

imp

noun
ˈimp
1
: a small demon
2
: a mischievous child

Medical Definition

More from Merriam-Webster on imp

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