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Synonym Chooser

How is the word imperative distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of imperative are domineering, imperious, masterful, and peremptory. While all these words mean "tending to impose one's will on others," imperative implies peremptoriness arising more from the urgency of the situation than from an inherent will to dominate.

an imperative appeal for assistance

When would domineering be a good substitute for imperative?

The meanings of domineering and imperative largely overlap; however, domineering suggests an overbearing or arbitrary manner and an obstinate determination to enforce one's will.

children controlled by domineering parents

When is imperious a more appropriate choice than imperative?

While the synonyms imperious and imperative are close in meaning, imperious implies a commanding nature or manner and often suggests arrogant assurance.

an imperious executive used to getting his own way

When might masterful be a better fit than imperative?

Although the words masterful and imperative have much in common, masterful implies a strong personality and ability to act authoritatively.

her masterful personality soon dominated the movement

When is it sensible to use peremptory instead of imperative?

While in some cases nearly identical to imperative, peremptory implies an abrupt dictatorial manner coupled with an unwillingness to brook disobedience or dissent.

given a peremptory dismissal

Thesaurus Entries Near imperative

Cite this Entry

“Imperative.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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