importunate

adjective im·por·tu·nate \ im-ˈpȯr-chə-nət , -tyu̇-nət \

Definition of importunate

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

importunately

adverb

importunateness

noun

importunate was our Word of the Day on 10/22/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of importunate in a Sentence

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

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.

First Known Use of importunate

15th century


IMPORTUNATE Defined for English Language Learners

importunate

adjective

Definition of importunate for English Language Learners

  • : making repeated or annoying requests or demands

  • : causing annoyance or trouble



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