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imperious

[im-peer-ee-uh s]
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adjective
  1. domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing: an imperious manner; an imperious person.
  2. urgent; imperative: imperious need.

Origin of imperious

1535–45; < Latin imperiōsus commanding, tyrannical, equivalent to imperi(um) imperium + -ōsus -ous
Related formsim·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverbim·pe·ri·ous·ness, nounnon·im·pe·ri·ous, adjectivenon·im·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverbnon·im·pe·ri·ous·ness, nounun·im·pe·ri·ous, adjectiveun·im·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedimperative imperial imperious

Synonyms

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1. tyrannical, despotic, arrogant. 2. necessary.

Antonyms

1. submissive. 2. unnecessary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for imperious

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He had acted "in obedience to the clear and imperious call of public obligation."

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • He, with an imperious air, bid me deserve his love, and I should be sure to have it.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Her voice cut fiercely into the quiet of the room, imperious, savage.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It filled his heart with delight to play with the fierce, imperious animal he rode.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • She was just as colossally commanding as ever, just as imperious.


British Dictionary definitions for imperious

imperious

adjective
  1. domineering; arrogant; overbearing
  2. rare urgent; imperative
Derived Formsimperiously, adverbimperiousness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin imperiōsus from imperium command, power
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

Word Origin and History for imperious

adj.

1540s, from Latin imperiosus "commanding, mighty, powerful," from imperium "empire, command" (see empire). Related: Imperiously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper