1

importune

adjective im·por·tune \ ˌim-pər-ˈtün , -ˈtyün ; im-ˈpȯr-ˌt(y)ün , -chən \

Definition of importune

importunely

adverb

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Origin and Etymology of importune

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


2

importune

verb

Definition of importune

importuned; importuning
transitive verb
1 a :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

importuner

noun

Examples of importune in a Sentence

  1. He stood on the street corner, importuning passersby for help.

  2. He importuned them to help.

Recent Examples of importune from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

First Known Use of importune

1530

Synonym Discussion of importune

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

IMPORTUNE Defined for English Language Learners

importune

verb

Definition of importune for English Language Learners

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


IMPORTUNE Defined for Kids

importune

verb im·por·tune \ ˌim-pər-ˈtün , -ˈtyün \

Definition of importune for Students

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

Law Dictionary

importune

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

legal Definition of importune

importuned; importuning
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 offense
  • General Statutes of Connecticut
intransitive verb
:to beg, urge, or press another persistently or troublesomely — compare coerce, solicit


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