impose

verb
im·​pose | \ im-ˈpōz How to pronounce impose (audio) \
imposed; imposing

Definition of impose

transitive verb

1a : to establish or apply by authority impose a tax impose new restrictions impose penalties
b : to establish or bring about as if by force those limits imposed by our own inadequacies— C. H. Plimpton
2 : to force into the company or on the attention of another impose oneself on others
3a : place, set
b : to arrange (type, pages, etc.) in the proper order for printing
4 : pass off impose fake antiques on the public

intransitive verb

: to take unwarranted advantage of something imposed on his good nature

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Other Words from impose

imposer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for impose

Synonyms

Antonyms

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The Latin imposui meant "put upon", and that meaning carried over into English in impose. A CEO may impose a new manager on one of the company's plants. A state may impose new taxes on luxury items or cigarettes, and the federal government sometimes imposes trade restrictions on another country to punish it. A polite apology might begin with "I hope I'm not imposing on you" (that is, "forcing my presence on you"). And a self-imposed deadline is one that you decide to hold yourself to.

Examples of impose in a Sentence

The judge imposed a life sentence. I needed to break free from the limits imposed by my own fear of failure.
Recent Examples on the Web On Tuesday, Newsom issued an executive order giving state regulators permission to impose mandatory restrictions, including banning people from washing their cars, using water to clean sidewalks and driveways, and filling decorative fountains. Arkansas Online, 23 Oct. 2021 From the start of the pandemic, Mr. Johnson has been reluctant to impose restrictions. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Other public health experts warn that Britain is, once more, facing a critical juncture: impose restrictions now before this wave becomes too big to contain. Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2021 Many scientists are pressing the British government to re-impose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations as coronavirus infection rates, already Europe’s highest, rise still further. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Oct. 2021 Many scientists are pressing the British government to re-impose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations as coronavirus infection rates, already Europe’s highest, rise still further. Jill Lawless, ajc, 19 Oct. 2021 Her failure to impose restrictions and apply the lessons learned by states hit earlier by the virus, Gottlieb suggested, has resulted in South Dakota having one of the highest per-capita death rates from Covid-19. Graison Dangor, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 That same month, the mayors of Venice and Florence teamed up on a manifesto demanding that the Italian government impose tighter restrictions on the thousands of short-term rentals contributing to the cities' housing crisis. Jackie Caradonio, Condé Nast Traveler, 13 Sep. 2021 The decision to clamp down on travel comes after the European Commission removed the U.S. from its pandemic-era list of safe countries, recommending member states impose travel restrictions on unvaccinated travelers. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2021

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

1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for impose

Middle French imposer, from Latin imponere, literally, to put upon (perfect indicative imposui), from in- + ponere to put — more at position

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Dictionary Entries Near impose

importunity

impose

imposed load

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Statistics for impose

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impose. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for impose

impose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of impose

: to cause (something, such as a tax, fine, rule, or punishment) to affect someone or something by using your authority
: to establish or create (something unwanted) in a forceful or harmful way
: to force someone to accept (something or yourself)

impose

verb
im·​pose | \ im-ˈpōz How to pronounce impose (audio) \
imposed; imposing

Kids Definition of impose

1 : to establish or apply as a charge or penalty The judge imposed a fine.
2 : to force someone to accept or put up with Don't impose your beliefs on me.
3 : to ask for more than is fair or reasonable : take unfair advantage Guests imposed on his good nature.

More from Merriam-Webster on impose

Nglish: Translation of impose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impose for Arabic Speakers

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