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

Definition of imperious

1a : marked by arrogant assurance : domineering
b : befitting or characteristic of one of eminent rank or attainments : commanding, dominant an imperious manner
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 For all that could be imperious about Steinberg’s attitude toward his colleagues and the state of art historical scholarship, there was something modest and even self-deprecating about his appetite for inquiry. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, "See More, Think More," 27 Apr. 2021 In contrast, Vandross’ imperious pleading never disappears beneath the orchestra. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, "Flashback: Luther Vandross Stuns Dionne Warwick With ‘A House Is Not a Home’," 20 Apr. 2021 The Greeks also foretold the humbling of characters like the imperious Karen Huger, the grande dame turned rental-mansion hopper of The Real Housewives of the Potomac, and Luann de Lesseps, the countess turned felonious alcoholic of RHONY. Anna Peele, Vulture, "The Soul of Bravo," 14 Apr. 2021 Lucille was a familiar type — imperious, oblivious, passive-aggressively cruel — that in the wrong hands can be unbearable to watch. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "Raising a Glass to Jessica Walter, from Sixties Soap Star to the Iconic Lucille Bluth," 25 Mar. 2021 To his admirers, the doctor was a health care visionary; to his critics, the embodiment of imperious self-regard. Dan Barry, New York Times, "On a Storied Stretch of Fifth Avenue, a Symbol of Irish America Reels," 13 Mar. 2021 And that shift has come not because there’s a new U.S. president calling for a robust transatlantic response to an autocratic China, but because China in recent weeks has shown Europe its authoritarian and imperious side. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "A united front against China? Why that’s tricky for US and Europe.," 30 Mar. 2021 The First Amendment exists to ensure that imperious and thin-skinned figures such as Mann are unable merely to declare what is true and what is false and silence anyone who dares to disagree. The Editors, National Review, "A Victory, but Miles to Go," 19 Mar. 2021 But Djokovic looked imperious from the get-go, breaking Medvedev in his opening service game and twice holding his own with ease to race into a 3-0 lead. Matias Grez, CNN, "Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev in Australian Open final to claim 18th grand slam title," 21 Feb. 2021

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

1529, 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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Time Traveler for imperious

Time Traveler

The first known use of imperious was in 1529

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Statistics for imperious

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imperious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for imperious



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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Nglish: Translation of imperious for Spanish Speakers

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