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[im-pend] /ɪmˈpɛnd/
verb (used without object)
to be imminent; be about to happen.
to threaten or menace:
He felt that danger impended.
Archaic. to hang or be suspended; overhang (usually followed by over).
Origin of impend
First recorded in 1580-90, impend is from the Latin word impendēre to hang over, threaten. See im-1, pend
Related forms
superimpend, verb (used without object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impend
Historical Examples
  • Concealing his agitation, he began the routine of such familiar labors as impend on the eve of battle.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • We seriously consider the dreadful judgments that now impend the nation.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
  • He is more occupied with the sins of his own age, and the heavy judgments of God that impend over his countrymen.

    Companion to the Bible E. P. Barrows
  • Overbold, audacious; overhang, impend; overweigh, preponderate.

  • While the members were thus being torn away, destruction seemed to impend at the heart.

  • They were his rock of refuge in any cataclysm that might impend.

    Bunker Bean Harry Leon Wilson
  • At last he smiled, whilst I bowed before him, but very vaguely conscious of what might impend.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • To Hugh a crisis seemed to impend, but he held off for the Gilmores, who seemed to be used to crises.

    Gideon's Band George W. Cable
  • One morning it happened, the 16th of February, when naught of moment seemed to impend.

    The Story of Old Fort Loudon Charles Egbert Craddock
  • Broken boulders often impend the river's course for miles, and hopelessly obstruct descent.

British Dictionary definitions for impend


verb (intransitive)
(esp of something threatening) to be about to happen; be imminent
(foll by over) (rare) to be suspended; hang
Derived Forms
impendence, impendency, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin impendēre to overhang, from pendēre to hang
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 impend

1590s, from figurative use of Latin impendere "to hang over, to be imminent," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pendere "hang" (see pendant). Related: Impended; impending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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