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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impend
Historical Examples
  • We seriously consider the dreadful judgments that now impend the nation.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
  • Overbold, audacious; overhang, impend; overweigh, preponderate.

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

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • 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
  • 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
  • Broken boulders often impend the river's course for miles, and hopelessly obstruct descent.

  • The Kalmuck priest wears a leather coat, over the laps of which impend hundreds of strips, with leather tassels on the breast.

    Some Heroes of Travel W. H. Davenport Adams
  • The strike and the lockout become potential, but they impend as possibilities and do their work.

  • One morning it happened, the 16th of February, when naught of moment seemed to impend.

    The Story of Old Fort Loudon Charles Egbert Craddock
  • At last he smiled, whilst I bowed before him, but very vaguely conscious of what might impend.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
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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