importune

verb
im·​por·​tune | \ ˌim-pər-ˈtün How to pronounce importune (audio) , -ˈtyün; im-ˈpȯr-ˌt(y)ün, -chən \
importuned; importuning

Definition of importune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to press or urge with troublesome persistence
b archaic : to request or beg for urgently

intransitive verb

: to beg, urge, or solicit persistently or troublesomely

importune

adjective

Definition of importune (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from importune

Verb

importuner noun

Adjective

importunely adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for importune

Verb

beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently. beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking. they begged for help entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance. entreated me to join them beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety. I beseech you to have mercy implored her not to leave him supplicate suggests a posture of humility. with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord adjure implies advising as well as pleading. we were adjured to tell the truth importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request. importuning viewers for contributions

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Adjective

Importune has many synonyms-including "beg," "entreat," "beseech," and "implore." "Beg" suggests earnestness or insistence especially in asking for a favor ("the children begged to stay up late"). "Entreat" implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance ("she entreated him to change his mind"). "Beseech" implies great eagerness or anxiety ("I beseech you to have mercy"), and "implore" adds to "beseech" a suggestion of greater urgency or anguished appeal ("he implored her not to leave him"). But it is "importune" that best conveys irritating doggedness in trying to break down resistance to a request and the accompanying annoyance ("the filmmakers were importuning viewers for contributions"), as it has since Middle English speakers adopted it from Anglo-French in the 15th century.

Examples of importune in a Sentence

Verb He stood on the street corner, importuning passersby for help. He importuned them to help.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Stewart Dickerson, 64, is charged with importuning and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, according to jail records. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff: West Chester man accused of soliciting sex from boy, 15," 28 Feb. 2020 In exchange for his guilty plea, Cuyahoga County prosecutors dropped charges of importuning and possessing criminal tools. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Former St. Edward High School teacher gets probation for trying to meet ‘teen’ for sex," 26 Feb. 2020 He is charged with importuning, a fifth-degree felony, court records say. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Two Cuyahoga County men among 14 accused of soliciting sex from Stark County investigators posing as teens," 4 Feb. 2020 Instead, Potter senior has to importune a surly centaur. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Harry Potter and the Curse of Technology," 11 Dec. 2019 Shawn Folsom, 41, is charged with one count of importuning, a felony in the fifth degree, police said in a release. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Union Township man charged after texting what he thought was a 15-year-old girl for nudes," 16 Nov. 2019 Investigators also discovered that Watson had an arrest for importuning in 1997 that was never prosecuted. Rachel Dissell, cleveland, "John 'Countdown’ Doe identified as nursing home resident, charged in 7 decades-old rape cases," 13 Oct. 2019 There were reportedly other calls in which Trump importuned the Ukrainians this way. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Trump Did It, but Should He Be Impeached?," 27 Sep. 2019 Andy Warhol was among the celebrities Tseng importuned at the Met, and there is something of Warhol’s nineteen-sixties self-invention in Tseng’s cultivation of an unvarying image, a mask that made the most of his outsider station. Brian Dillon, The New Yorker, "Tseng Kwong Chi, an “Ambiguous Ambassador” to Life in America," 23 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'importune.' 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 importune

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for importune

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French importun, from Latin importunus, from in- + -portunus (as in opportunus fit) — more at opportune

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Time Traveler for importune

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Importune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/importune. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for importune

importune

verb
How to pronounce importune (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of importune

formal : to ask (someone) for something or to do something in a repeated or annoying way

importune

verb
im·​por·​tune | \ ˌim-pər-ˈtün How to pronounce importune (audio) , -ˈtyün \
importuned; importuning

Kids Definition of importune

: to beg or urge in a repeated or annoying way Salesmen importuned us to buy.

importune

verb
im·​por·​tune | \ ˌim-pȯr-ˈtün, -ˈtyün; im-ˈpȯr-ˌtyün, -chən \
importuned; importuning

Legal Definition of importune

transitive verb

: to press or urge with troublesome persistence who solicits, requests, commands, importunes or intentionally aids another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offenseGeneral Statutes of Connecticut

intransitive verb

: to beg, urge, or press another persistently or troublesomely — compare coerce, solicit

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More from Merriam-Webster on importune

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for importune

Spanish Central: Translation of importune

Nglish: Translation of importune for Spanish Speakers

Comments on importune

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