Try Our Apps


World Series Quiz


[im-peer-ee-uh s] /ɪmˈpɪər i əs/
domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing:
an imperious manner; an imperious person.
urgent; imperative:
imperious need.
Origin of imperious
1535-45; < Latin imperiōsus commanding, tyrannical, equivalent to imperi(um) imperium + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
imperiously, adverb
imperiousness, noun
nonimperious, adjective
nonimperiously, adverb
nonimperiousness, noun
unimperious, adjective
unimperiously, adverb
Can be confused
imperative, imperial, imperious.
1. tyrannical, despotic, arrogant. 2. necessary.
1. submissive. 2. unnecessary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for imperiousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I must stand," said Cynthia, with a touch of imperiousness.

    A Life Sentence Adeline Sergeant
  • There was an imperiousness in the lawyer's tone which was almost irresistible.

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • And her foot beat with an imperiousness almost comical from one with such a broken countenance.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
  • A life of indolence and luxury had bred a certain air of imperiousness in her.

    Colorado Jim George Goodchild
  • She spoke almost abruptly, and with a touch of imperiousness that suddenly recalled to me where I had seen those eyes before.

    A Flat Iron for a Farthing Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • And her eyes searched his with a certain boldness and imperiousness of gaze.

  • imperiousness seems to be the term appropriate to Lear's conduct in the first scene.

  • I may, perhaps, be producing an unfair impression of imperiousness and insolence.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
British Dictionary definitions for imperiousness


domineering; arrogant; overbearing
(rare) urgent; imperative
Derived Forms
imperiously, adverb
imperiousness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for imperiousness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for imperious

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for imperiousness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for imperiousness