im·​por·​tu·​nate | \ im-ˈpȯr-chə-nət How to pronounce importunate (audio) , -tyu̇-nət \

Definition of importunate

1 : troublesomely urgent : overly persistent in request or demand importunate creditors

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Other Words from importunate

importunately adverb
importunateness noun

Did You Know?

Importunate has been part of the English language since the 16th century, and the synonymous "importune" arrived even earlier, in the 15th century. The seemingly superfluous inclusion of the suffix -ate in "importunate" is a bit mysterious; one theory is that English speakers modeled the adjective after words like "obstinate." "Importune" and "importunate" come from Latin importunus. The prefix im- means "not," and "importunus" can be contrasted with Latin opportunus, which shares its meaning with and is the ancestor of our opportune, meaning "suitable or timely." (The connection is obscure now, but "opportunus" itself harks back to the Latin phrase ob portum, meaning "[coming] to harbor.") "Importune," and later "importunate," once meant "inopportune, untimely," but that sense is now obsolete.

Examples of importunate in a Sentence

the demands of the chairmanship were becoming too importunate for me to continue without an assistant

First Known Use of importunate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of importunate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Importunate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for importunate



English Language Learners Definition of importunate

: making repeated or annoying requests or demands
: causing annoyance or trouble

More from Merriam-Webster on importunate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for importunate

Nglish: Translation of importunate for Spanish Speakers

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