impose

verb
im·​pose | \ im-ˈpōz How to pronounce impose (audio) \
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
2 : to force into the company or on the attention of another impose oneself on others
3a : place, set
b : to arrange (type, pages, etc.) in the proper order for printing
4 : pass off impose fake antiques on the public

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

Antonyms

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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 Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for more equitable management of global affairs and, in an implicit rejection of U.S. dominance, said governments shouldn’t impose rules on others. NBC News, "Chinese President Xi Jinping criticizes world 'hegemony' in jab at U.S.," 20 Apr. 2021 Autoplay Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for more equitable management of global affairs and, in an implicit rejection of U.S. dominance, said governments shouldn’t impose rules on others. Fox News, "China's Xi warns against 'unilateralism' as tensions with US, neighbors rise," 20 Apr. 2021 County and municipal governments often tax the same property, for instance, and local and state governments often impose sales taxes on the same transactions. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Climate and Central Banks: Regulators Doing What They Shouldn’t," 17 Apr. 2021 The conference comes the day after Holcomb unveiled a plan to roll back most coronavirus restrictions in the state, including the mask mandate, as of April 6, though local governments can impose more stringent requirements. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, "What we learned from the governor's coronavirus news conference this week," 24 Mar. 2021 Vaccinations are progressing at a glacial pace, Covid-19 cases are spiraling up again and increasingly unpopular governments impose new restrictions weekly. Ruth Bender, WSJ, "Europe Despairs as Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Stalls and Pandemic Grinds On," 23 Mar. 2021 Automakers around the world are ramping up production of electric vehicles as charging technology improves and governments impose stricter pollution regulations. Matt Ott, Star Tribune, "Goodbye gas: Volvo to make only electric vehicles by 2030," 2 Mar. 2021 Automakers around the world are ramping up production of electric vehicles as charging technology improves and governments impose stricter pollution regulations. CBS News, "Volvo plans to phase out gas engines in all its cars by 2030," 2 Mar. 2021 Automakers around the world are ramping up production of electric vehicles as charging technology improves and governments impose stricter pollution regulations. Matt Ott, chicagotribune.com, "Volvo says all its vehicles will be electric by 2030, and sold online only, not at dealerships," 2 Mar. 2021

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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impose. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce impose (audio) \
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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