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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for imprecate



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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

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The first known use of imprecate was in 1613

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Cite this Entry

“Imprecate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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