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
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

Many Republicans like the tariffs imposed on other countries. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Actually Happen to Trump?," 19 Dec. 2018 Facebook appears to have scrubbed all timeline posts that were cross-published from Twitter from its users’ profiles following privacy-minded API restrictions imposed on third-party developers, according to TechCrunch. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Facebook is deleting timeline posts that users cross-published from Twitter," 29 Aug. 2018 Trump in March imposed a 25 percent import tax on steel and a 10 percent import tax on aluminum on most countries and extended them in June to Mexico, Canada and the European Union. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Baytown steel plant denied steel tariff exemption," 12 July 2018 Although suppliers are getting more orders in on time since Walmart began imposing penalties for delays, incomplete deliveries are driving as many as 30% of out-of-stock readings in stores, according to people familiar with the data. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Walmart Toughens Delivery Demands for Suppliers," 6 Mar. 2019 The tighter screening of refugees reflects one of the signature issues for President Donald Trump, who imposed a travel ban on people from seven majority Muslim countries as one of his first actions upon taking office in January 2017. Fox News, "Trump refugee policy leaves thousands stranded outside US," 7 Oct. 2018 The imposing setting at Windsor Castle and the fact that his hostess is one of the most admired women in the world are expected to temper Trump’s iconoclastic ways. BostonGlobe.com, "Royal etiquette for the Trumps’ visit: Don’t kiss the queen," 13 July 2018 The trial judge imposed death sentences for the Bowman and Levy murders. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 And as Trump has talked about bringing Putin back into the international fold, the Treasury Department has continued to impose sanctions on various Russian officials, companies and businessmen. Matthew Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump wish for warm Putin ties highlights policy disconnect," 14 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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Statistics for impose

Last Updated

11 Apr 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 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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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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