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

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

History and Etymology for importunate

importune entry 1 or importune entry 2 + -ate entry 3

Note: Compare Medieval Latin importūnātus and Middle French importuné in this sense, which are formally, though not semantically, past passive participles of the transitive verbs importūnāre and importuner.

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Cite this Entry

“Importunate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of importunate for Spanish Speakers


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