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 Lesser non-conference opponents will be ruthlessly scrutinized to make sure their standards are up to the imperious Power Five’s. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Delayed or not, college football will be back, but prepare for a new normal," 20 May 2020 On April 12, , the , premieres on EPIX, and Water will be front and center as the imperious Countess of Brockenhurst. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Belgravia Star Harriet Walter is TV's Favorite Grande Dame," 12 Apr. 2020 Those who prefer a screen version have two to choose from — a TV mini-series and an HBO film, with Lauren Bacall and Susan Sarandon portraying the impetuous and imperious Duke. Meryl Gordon, New York Times, "Reconsidering Doris Duke, the Debutante Who Broke All the Rules," 7 Apr. 2020 Jeanne appeared occasionally, cutting an imperious figure. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Was Jeanne Calment the Oldest Person Who Ever Lived—or a Fraud?," 10 Feb. 2020 Faultless against Chelsea and only being dribbled past once by Raul Jimenez at Molineux, the former Leicester man has cut an imperious figure for the Red Devils., "Manchester United: The XI That Should Start Against Crystal Palace," 22 Aug. 2019 Or imperious, ignoring the proceedings and reading. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Neil Gorsuch is gunning for most irreverent Supreme Court justice," 3 Mar. 2020 Fortunately, they are blessed with an incisive chronicler and historical sleuth, Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, granddaughter of the imperious Sala Glass, the lone daughter. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "In ‘House of Glass,’ Hadley Freeman unearth’s the World War II-era secrets of her family’s past," 30 Mar. 2020 Her hands-on assists are safe, spot-on, and right in the moment and her attitude in class is always friendly and helpful, not imperious. cleveland, "Namaste: Ranking Cleveland’s Top 49 yoga studios according to Yelp," 16 Jan. 2020

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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imperious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for imperious


How to pronounce imperious (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imperious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imperious

Spanish Central: Translation of imperious

Nglish: Translation of imperious for Spanish Speakers

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