im·​pend | \ im-ˈpend \
impended; impending; impends

Definition of impend

intransitive verb

1a : to hover threateningly : menace
b : to be about to occur the impending trial
2 archaic : to hang suspended

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for impend


brew, loom

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of impend in a Sentence

for confirmed pessimists some disaster always seems to be impending

Recent Examples on the Web

Further Reading Game of Thrones has become a CW show Of course, all that jockeying for power distracted the leaders of Westeros from the one, true threat: an impending invasion from the north, beyond a great wall of ice. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here’s the first teaser for the final season of Game of Thrones," 13 Nov. 2018 This is happening not least because Britain’s impending departure from the European Union has induced a psychotic break within the fractious Conservatives. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "How an Accident Could Happen in Britain," 27 Sep. 2018 Friday’s announcement of Superintendent Tommy Chang’s impending departure from the Boston school system took few parents by surprise. James Vaznis,, "With Chang out, parents ponder future," 23 June 2018 DeAndre Jordan’s impending free agency leaves the Clippers’ front court in a much murkier standing, but for now, the Clippers have a solid start to their pivotal first offseason post-Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Jake Fischer,, "Trades Grades: Hornets Send Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the Clippers for Miles Bridges," 21 June 2018 Patrick’s impending departure from major-league auto racing prompts two big questions: Who will replace her as the next female driver to challenge male dominance? Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "For most female racecar drivers, breaking through 'asphalt ceiling' proves elusive," 15 May 2018 Scott’s impending candidacy means Florida will be one of 2018’s marquee — and most expensive — Senate races. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Rick Scott vs. Bill Nelson could be one of the most expensive campaigns in 2018.," 6 Apr. 2018 Suh and Thomas’ impending the release, and the release of linebacker Lawrence Timmons, which was done on Monday, will create nearly $29.1 million in cap space. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins cut three players, including Ndamukong Suh to create $29 million in cap space," 14 Mar. 2018 During the drop, the rocket's fins will pitch the rocket at a steep angle for its impending climb to space. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Say Hello to Stratolaunch, the World's Largest Plane," 17 Apr. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of impend

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impend

Latin impendēre, from in- + pendēre to hang — more at pendant

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impend

Statistics for impend

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impend

The first known use of impend was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on impend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impend

Spanish Central: Translation of impend

Nglish: Translation of impend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impend

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


marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!