\ ˈimp How to pronounce imp (audio) \

Definition of imp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


imped; imping; imps

Definition of imp (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Definition of imp (Entry 3 of 3)

1 imperative
2 imperfect
3 imperial
4 import; imported

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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 The stories about its little, red-haired imp and his pranks still retain cult status today. John Hopewell, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 Presiding above it all is Pesce himself, an imp in Issey Miyake, delighting in his creations, wonky and Wonka. Matthew Schneier, Curbed, 14 Sep. 2021 Hell on Earth is imminent, and Coy Blackler’s only real ally is Harper, a fellow test pilot/guinea pig whose symbiotic relationship with a cherubim-ish imp also is highly unstable. al, 23 July 2021 In a sense, Keough gets to play the film’s presiding artist, an imp of the perverse who sets things in motion just to see what might happen. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, 29 June 2021 Are Descartes’ almost perfect illusionist, Laplace’s nearly omniscient intelligence and Maxwell’s entropy-resistant imp really as tangible as a microchip or a shock wave? Washington Post, 24 Dec. 2020 Your most basic attacker and defender, a creature spell can be anything from a demonic imp to the most pious angel. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 11 Aug. 2020 This potent symbol of Black life – of self-preservation, resistance + authenticity has an imp. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, 31 Mar. 2020 The pointy-eared imp has even pulled off plenty of their own pranks on the dogs too. Kelli Bender,, 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Imping, her father had called this sort of frenzied picking. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2017

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imp


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


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

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Time Traveler for imp

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near imp

imou pine



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Statistics for imp

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for imp



English Language Learners Definition of imp

: a small creature that plays harmful tricks in children's stories
: a child who causes trouble in a playful way : a mischievous child


\ ˈimp How to pronounce imp (audio) \

Kids Definition of imp

1 : a small demon
2 : a mischievous child


\ ˌī-ˌem-ˈpē How to pronounce IMP (audio) \

Medical Definition of IMP

More from Merriam-Webster on imp

Nglish: Translation of imp for Spanish Speakers


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