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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about importunate

Listen to Our Podcast about importunate

Statistics for importunate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for importunate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for importunate



English Language Learners Definition of importunate

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on importunate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with importunate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for importunate

Spanish Central: Translation of importunate

Nglish: Translation of importunate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on importunate

What made you want to look up importunate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!