imprecate

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verb im·pre·cate \ˈim-pri-ˌkāt\

Definition of imprecate

imprecated

;

imprecating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to invoke evil on :  curse

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to utter curses

imprecate was our Word of the Day on 02/02/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of imprecate in a sentence

  1. with her dying breath the witch imprecated the villagers for their relentless persecution of her

Did You Know?

It may surprise you to learn that a word that refers to wishing evil upon someone has its roots in praying, but "imprecate" ultimately derives from the Latin verb precari, meaning "to pray, ask, or entreat." "Precari" is also the ancestor of such English words as "deprecate" (which once meant "to pray against an evil," though that sense is now archaic), "precatory" ("expressing a wish") and even "pray" itself (which has deeper roots in the Latin noun for a request or entreaty, "prex").

Origin and Etymology of imprecate

Latin imprecatus, past participle of imprecari, from in- + precari to pray — more at pray


First Known Use: 1613



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WORD OF THE DAY

to criticize severely

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