im·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌim-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce imposition (audio) \

Definition of imposition

1 : something imposed: such as
a : levy, tax
b : an excessive or uncalled-for requirement or burden
2 : the act of imposing
3 : deception
4 : the order of arrangement of imposed pages

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Synonyms for imposition


assessment, duty, impost, levy, tax

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Examples of imposition in a Sentence

Your kids can stay with me the night you're away—it's really not an imposition. the imposition of a life sentence on the defendant the imposition of a tax on liquor
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fu said all sides expressed strong opposition against the unilateral imposition of sanctions by the U.S., especially the extraterritorial application of the sanctions. Kiyoko Metzler,, "Diplomats from five world powers and Iran recommit to saving nuclear deal," 28 July 2019 It was quickly followed by a loss of nerve among northern white liberals, which allowed the imposition of Jim Crow, and racial subjugation in the South once Federal troops were withdrawn in 1877. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: A time for choosing: Trump or John Paul Stevens?," 18 July 2019 The case ended in an imposition of liability, but in a relatively favorable light to Iverson. Michael Mccann,, "Analyzing Why James Harden Won Paparazzi Assault Trial," 10 July 2019 Manufacturers are sensitive not just to the actual imposition of tariffs, but also to the threat of new tariffs. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "Manufacturing takes a sharp turn for the worse," 17 June 2019 Yes, the clothes she designs are empirically beautiful, but her vision of beauty is not an imposition. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“I Really Feel Quite Lucky”—Sarah Burton Reflects on Her Magical Career at Alexander McQueen," 30 May 2019 Every element of Abbott’s game symbolizes shaking off the polio epidemic’s impositions. Alexander B. Joy, The Atlantic, "Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards," 28 July 2019 In general, cost imposition involves making it very expensive – in personnel, equipment and time – for an adversary to achieve a particular goal. Benjamin Jensen, The Conversation, "A World War II battle holds key lessons for modern warfare," 25 July 2019 Congress passed the legislation that created the board over the objections of critics who called it an imposition from Washington that threatens Puerto Rico’s autonomy. Washington Post, "Puerto Rico has turned on its governor as deep unrest reaches the surface," 21 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imposition.' 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 imposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for imposition

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for imposition

The first known use of imposition was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of imposition

: a demand or request that is not reasonable or that causes trouble for someone
: the act of establishing or creating something in an official way : the act of imposing something

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Comments on imposition

What made you want to look up imposition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

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