Definition of impose
- impose a tax
- impose new restrictions
- impose penalties
- those limits imposed by our own inadequacies
- —C. H. Plimpton
- impose fake antiques on the public
- impose oneself on others
- imposed on his good nature
The judge imposed a life sentence.
I needed to break free from the limits imposed by my own fear of failure.
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.
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.
: 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)
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