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.
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 WebMeanwhile, Russia imposed an abrupt full ban on gasoline and diesel exports on Thursday.—WSJ, 22 Sep. 2023 In return, his federal sentence will run at the same time as any sentences imposed in his state cases.—Juliette Arcodia, NBC News, 21 Sep. 2023 Serbia has refused to join several other nations that have imposed sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.—Louis Casiano, Fox News, 21 Sep. 2023 The European Union’s AI Act, which is currently progressing through the bloc’s regulatory process, imposes transparency requirements and risk assessments for foundation models.—Will Henshall, Time, 21 Sep. 2023 To avoid effectively rewarding Americans for not repatriating their earnings under the old system, the 2017 law also imposed a one-time tax known as the Mandatory Repatriation Tax on Americans’ post-1986 earnings from shares in foreign corporations.—Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2023 In 2021, a Thai woman was handed a 43-year jail sentence, believed to be the toughest ever imposed, after pleading guilty to sharing audio clips on YouTube and Facebook that were deemed critical of the royal family.—Helen Regan, CNN, 19 Sep. 2023 Construction cost about $392 million and was funded largely through a 0.1% sales tax imposed in Milwaukee County and the four other counties that surround the stadium.—Steve Megargee and Todd Richmond, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 The cash represents money South Korea owed Iran — but had not yet paid — for oil purchased before the U.S. imposed sanctions on such transactions in 2019.—Jon Gambrell, Lujain Jo and Matthew Lee, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impose.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle French imposer, from Latin imponere, literally, to put upon (perfect indicative imposui), from in- + ponere to put — more at position