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

Sunrun has pursued none of the same cutbacks that Tesla has imposed on SolarCity. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s SolarCity lost ground to Sunrun in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 All along the way, authoritarianism has also been on the rise there, as the nation’s internet regulator imposes new rules on what’s banned, from Twitch getting shut down, to removing parodies and even ASMR videos. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "2018 was the year Chinese internet users evaded censorship — briefly," 20 Dec. 2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, kicked things off by acquiring the old Whitney Museum building, an imposing granite inverted ziggurat on Madison Avenue, and changing the name to the Met Breuer, a nod to its architect, Marcel Breuer. Lauren Ho, Condé Nast Traveler, "Architectural Reboot: The Return of Brutalism," 20 Dec. 2018 France's 40-year-old pro-EU president also urged Trump not to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Sylvie Corbet, Fox News, "France's Macron turns away from Trump in laying out roadmap," 27 Aug. 2018 The Trump administration intensified its trade war with China, threatening to impose tariffs on a further $200bn-worth of goods, including tuna, chemicals and handbags. The Economist, "Business this week," 12 July 2018 Trump has linked defense and trade issues throughout his presidency, using national security powers to impose tariffs against close allies like Canada and trade deficits as an argument for cutting U.S. defense aid to Europe. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump blasts Germany as being 'captive to Russia' in tiff over NATO defense spending," 11 July 2018 Some senators are portraying it as a rebuke of President Donald Trump's use of a national security waiver to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Kevin Freking, chicagotribune.com, "Senate voices protest over Trump's aluminum, steel tariffs," 11 July 2018 The states were joined by conservation groups and Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe in a lawsuit that seeks to revive a coal leasing moratorium imposed under President Barack Obama. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "States ask court to stop Trump from reviving US coal sales," 12 Dec. 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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Statistics for impose

Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on impose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impose

Spanish Central: Translation of impose

Nglish: Translation of impose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impose

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