impose

verb
im·pose | \im-ˈpōz \
imposed; imposing

Definition of impose 

transitive verb

1a : to establish or apply by authority impose a tax impose new restrictions impose penalties

b : to establish or bring about as if by force those limits imposed by our own inadequacies— C. H. Plimpton

2a : place, set

b : to arrange (type, pages, etc.) in the proper order for printing

3 : pass off impose fake antiques on the public

4 : to force into the company or on the attention of another impose oneself on others

intransitive verb

: to take unwarranted advantage of something imposed on his good nature

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Other Words from impose

imposer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impose

Synonyms

assess, charge, exact, fine, lay, levy, put

Antonyms

remit

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Did You Know?

The Latin imposui meant "put upon", and that meaning carried over into English in impose. A CEO may impose a new manager on one of the company's plants. A state may impose new taxes on luxury items or cigarettes, and the federal government sometimes imposes trade restrictions on another country to punish it. A polite apology might begin with "I hope I'm not imposing on you" (that is, "forcing my presence on you"). And a self-imposed deadline is one that you decide to hold yourself to.

Examples of impose in a Sentence

The judge imposed a life sentence. I needed to break free from the limits imposed by my own fear of failure.

Recent Examples on the Web

Seattle even banned straws altogether and the city imposed a $250 fine on any establishment who doesn’t follow the rules. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Why Starbucks And Other Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws To Help Save the Environment," 11 July 2018 In the years that followed, Louis became even more tyrannical, doing his best to undermine her authority and impose his own rule over the kingdom. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Officials in 2015 opted not to list the birds as needing federal protections under the Endangered Species Act and instead imposed land-use restrictions leading to multiple lawsuits from industry and environmentalists. Keith Ridler, idahostatesman, "Grazing, not juniper, is behind Idaho species' decline, environmental group says," 29 June 2018 Spend the afternoon at the architecturally imposing Friedrichsbad with an all-nude, co-ed 16-step program that takes you from hot to cold baths to full body scrubs. Laura Giannatempo, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Weekend Road Trip to the Black Forest," 27 June 2018 My brain is fried after 14 hours and over 600 miles with a self imposed top speed of 60 mph, but the drive couldn't have been easier. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "How to Tow a Trailer," 19 June 2018 Before now, the administration had deliberately avoided imposing tariffs on consumer goods in order to spare U.S. shoppers from direct economic pain. Anchorage Daily News, "A new round of proposed Trump tariffs would hit US consumers," 12 July 2018 Those Friday jobs numbers coming on the same day that the Trump administration began imposing tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods with Beijing retaliating with its own tariffs on American products, including soybeans and cars. Fox News, "Unions brace for fallout from SCOTUS's Janus decision," 8 July 2018 The administration and Trump have not articulated what is realistic and what China could do that would lead the US to stop imposing tariffs. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Can the US-China trade war be stopped? 11 experts weigh in.," 8 July 2018

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

1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for impose

Middle French imposer, from Latin imponere, literally, to put upon (perfect indicative imposui), from in- + ponere to put — more at position

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Phrases Related to impose

impose one's will

Statistics for impose

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impose

The first known use of impose was in 1581

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More Definitions for impose

impose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of impose

: to cause (something, such as a tax, fine, rule, or punishment) to affect someone or something by using your authority

: to establish or create (something unwanted) in a forceful or harmful way

: to force someone to accept (something or yourself)

impose

verb
im·pose | \im-ˈpōz \
imposed; imposing

Kids Definition of impose

1 : to establish or apply as a charge or penalty The judge imposed a fine.

2 : to force someone to accept or put up with Don't impose your beliefs on me.

3 : to ask for more than is fair or reasonable : take unfair advantage Guests imposed on his good nature.

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Comments on impose

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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