im·​pe·​ri·​ous | \ im-ˈpir-ē-əs How to pronounce imperious (audio) \

Definition of imperious

1a : befitting or characteristic of one of eminent rank or attainments : commanding, dominant an imperious manner
b : marked by arrogant assurance : domineering
2 : intensely compelling : urgent the imperious problems of the new age— J. F. Kennedy

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Other Words from imperious

imperiously adverb
imperiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for imperious

masterful, domineering, imperious, peremptory, imperative mean tending to impose one's will on others. masterful implies a strong personality and ability to act authoritatively. her masterful personality soon dominated the movement domineering suggests an overbearing or arbitrary manner and an obstinate determination to enforce one's will. children controlled by domineering parents imperious implies a commanding nature or manner and often suggests arrogant assurance. an imperious executive used to getting his own way peremptory implies an abrupt dictatorial manner coupled with an unwillingness to brook disobedience or dissent. given a peremptory dismissal imperative implies peremptoriness arising more from the urgency of the situation than from an inherent will to dominate. an imperative appeal for assistance

Examples of imperious in a Sentence

an imperious little boy who liked to tell the other scouts what to do an imperious movie star who thinks she's some sort of goddess

Recent Examples on the Web

The new season picks up in the wake of that scenario, with Logan back at full force, a model of sheer aggression, seeking to prove with every imperious gesture just how far the apples can fall from the tree. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Succession' shows media dynasties are just families, only much worse," 11 Aug. 2019 The old, imperious king of the parquet, Kyrie, is gone, long live the new king, Kemba. Globe Staff,, "Can Kemba Walker make fans forget about Kyrie Irving?," 17 July 2019 Being unfairly treated by the imperious Czar/Empress is, if not a beloved Style Invitational tradition, something that just comes with the territory of a single beleaguered Crowned Head looking at every last entry in what is never enough time. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1342: Combominimums," 25 July 2019 Now, as Crosby listens to his own imperious words, a flash of regret curdles his expression. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "David Crosby Celebrates His Ornery Self in the Documentary “Remember My Name”," 16 July 2019 And as the long-running show suddenly faces cancellation, its imperious host, played by Emma Thompson, reluctantly turns to her new, untested employee for help. Mark Olsen,, "Indie Focus: backstage comedy in 'Late Night'," 7 June 2019 Argus plays the diva grandly, sinking her teeth into the role of Dorothy, the imperious star attempting her big comeback., "Summer Lyric presents tap-happy love song to Broadway with ‘42nd Street’," 19 June 2019 There’s some intrigue around the possibility of a mole inside MiB London, which is run by the imperious High T (Liam Neeson) and the squirrelly Agent C (Rafe Spall). David Sims, The Atlantic, "Men in Black: International Forgets What Made the Original So Great," 12 June 2019 Significantly, the decree to don the midi came from Paris, the historic center of the fashion world, where la mode is at its most imperious. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "How the Midi Skirt Vanquished the Mini Skirt," 17 Oct. 2018

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

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for imperious

borrowed from Latin imperiōsus "exercising authority, domineering," from imperium "authority over family members and slaves exercised by the head of a household, supreme administrative authority, dominion" + -ōsus -ous — more at empire

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Statistics for imperious

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for imperious

The first known use of imperious was in 1540

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English Language Learners Definition of imperious

formal : having or showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of someone who gives orders and expects other people to obey them

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More from Merriam-Webster on imperious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imperious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imperious

Spanish Central: Translation of imperious

Nglish: Translation of imperious for Spanish Speakers

Comments on imperious

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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