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90s Slang You Should Know


[im-uh-nuh nt] /ˈɪm ə nənt/
likely to occur at any moment; impending:
Her death is imminent.
projecting or leaning forward; overhanging.
Origin of imminent
1520-30; < Latin imminent- (stem of imminēns), present participle of imminēre to overhang, equivalent to im- im-1 + -min- from a base meaning “jut out, project, rise” (cf. eminent, mount2) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
imminently, adverb
imminentness, noun
unimminent, adjective
Can be confused
eminent, immanent, imminent.
1. near, at hand. Imminent, Impending, Threatening all may carry the implication of menace, misfortune, disaster, but they do so in differing degrees. Imminent may portend evil: an imminent catastrophe, but also may mean simply “about to happen”: The merger is imminent. Impending has a weaker sense of immediacy and threat than imminent : Real tax relief legislation is impending, but it too may be used in situations portending disaster: impending social upheaval; to dread the impending investigation. Threatening almost always suggests ominous warning and menace: a threatening sky just before the tornado struck.
1. distant, remote. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imminent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • While she was waiting, she one day received a letter from Toby, announcing his imminent arrival in London.

    Coquette Frank Swinnerton
  • The Edina was in the most imminent peril on the edge of the Brake Sand.

    Heroes of the Goodwin Sands Thomas Stanley Treanor
  • Perhaps they had been kept in air-tight boxes till the Discovery was imminent and then brought out to do honour to the occasion.

    Fifty-One Years of Victorian Life Margaret Elizabeth Leigh Child-Villiers, Countess of Jersey
  • This was not a common thing, but only done by the senate in cases of imminent danger.

  • I do not know whether she was conscious of her imminent danger.

    Willing to Die Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for imminent


liable to happen soon; impending
(obsolete) jutting out or overhanging
Derived Forms
imminence, imminentness, noun
imminently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin imminēre to project over, from im- (in) + -minēre to project; related to mons mountain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for imminent

1520s, from Middle French imminent (14c.) and directly from Latin imminentem (nominative imminens), present participle of imminere "to overhang; impend, be near, be at hand," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + minere "jut out," related to mons "hill" (see mount (n.)). Related: Imminently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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