im·​pe·​ri·​ous | \ im-ˈpir-ē-əs \

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 fuel-tax hike was an unforced error that aroused rural voters who have never liked his imperious style. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Macron’s Salvage Operation," 11 Dec. 2018 On Monday, Melania silently cruised through an alley of blood-red Christmas trees, as imperious as Mrs. Waterford overseeing a row of arboreal handmaids. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Tough Times For Individual One," 2 Dec. 2018 Her barely tuneful songs and limited musical range only added to her imperious allure. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "A Darkly Beautiful and Unflinching Testament to a Musical Icon’s Final Years," 2 Aug. 2018 Also uneven in intonation, but far more delicious in effect, is a third mezzo, Stephanie Blythe, as the wicked stepmother, the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: The Stepchild of Cinderella Operas Finally Makes It to the Met," 13 Apr. 2018 Set back from the road behind a low wall, the 1920s building is both stately and slightly imperious. Audrey Phoon, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Singapore," 5 Mar. 2018 In their quarter-final encounter against Brazil, Belgium were imperious., "World Cup Preview: France vs Belgium - Recent Form, Classic Encounter, Predictions & More," 9 July 2018 Pose brings this to life as Blanca Evangelista (MJ Rodriguez) splits off from her domineering and imperious mother, Elektra Abundance (Dominique Jackson), to form her own house. Diana Tourjée, Time, "Pose Shines a Revolutionary Spotlight on Trans Lives," 31 May 2018 Despite his side losing out on the league title to their fierce rivals Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo has been at his usual imperious best for Real Madrid this season., "8 of the Most Unstoppable Players Across Europe's Elite Leagues This Season," 21 June 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

19 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imperious

The first known use of imperious was in 1540

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English Language Learners Definition of imperious

: 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

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