im·​pre·​cate | \ ˈim-pri-ˌkāt How to pronounce imprecate (audio) \
imprecated; imprecating

Definition of imprecate

transitive verb

: to invoke evil on : curse

intransitive verb

: to utter curses

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for imprecate



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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").

Examples of imprecate in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of imprecate

1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for imprecate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about imprecate

Listen to Our Podcast about imprecate

Statistics for imprecate

Time Traveler for imprecate

The first known use of imprecate was in 1613

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on imprecate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imprecate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imprecate

Comments on imprecate

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


an agreement to stop fighting a war

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!