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 Mezzo Elizabeth Bishop was aptly imperious as Herod’s wife, Herodias, with Deniz Uzun as her brassy page. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Fabio Luisi leads semi-staged Strauss 'Salome’ with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra," 1 Feb. 2020 In footage that shocked the nation, Mr. Li, looking imperious in his tunic-like Mao suit, was scolded and interrupted by students, including a hunger striker still in his hospital gown. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, "Li Peng, Chinese premier during Tiananmen massacre, dies at 91," 23 July 2019 Another must-see bout would be a third fight with imperious veteran Nate Diaz, who fought twice in 2019 after his own three-year break. Greg Beacham,, "Conor McGregor holds all the UFC cards after comeback win," 19 Jan. 2020 The sisters' adult rivalry plays out in vicious barbs each episode, but their underlying connection remains strong since the death of their imperious mother. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Against the Odds, 'The Conners' Became Comfort TV," 16 Dec. 2019 Los Cules had won seven matches on the bounce before the defeat to Levante, and Messi had looked in imperious form going into the month of November., "Lionel Messi Fires Camp Nou Blank for First Time in Seven Years as Barcelona Are Held to Draw," 6 Nov. 2019 Company insiders have described him as increasingly haughty and imperious. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Carlos Ghosn Defends His Legacy," 8 Jan. 2020 In Inside Llewyn Davis’s best and most crushing scene, Llewyn auditions for imperious manager Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham) by pouring his soul into an impassioned solo performance. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Movie Scenes of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 In The Magic Flute, the Queen of the Night presents the type of female dominance found in most fairy tales and operas: imperious, cruel, destroying all in her path. Amy Lorette Damron Kyle, Quartz, "The feminist reboot opera deserves," 20 Dec. 2019

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imperious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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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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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