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[im-pech-oo-uh s] /ɪmˈpɛtʃ u əs/
of, relating to, or characterized by sudden or rash action, emotion, etc.; impulsive:
an impetuous decision; an impetuous person.
having great impetus; moving with great force; violent:
the impetuous winds.
Origin of impetuous
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin impetuōsus, equivalent to Latin impetu(s) impetus + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
impetuously, adverb
impetuousness, noun
Can be confused
compulsive, impulsive, impetuous (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. eager, headlong. Impetuous, impulsive both refer to persons who are hasty and precipitate in action, or to actions not preceded by thought. Impetuous suggests eagerness, violence, rashness: impetuous vivacity; impetuous desire; impetuous words. Impulsive emphasizes spontaneity and lack of reflection: an impulsive act of generosity.
1. planned, careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impetuously
Historical Examples
  • But she still shrugged away from him when impetuously he approached too close.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • "Such terms can't be made, Bivens," the doctor said impetuously.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • "Name it, O noble Ki, and thy name shall be buried in my heart," said Nicholas impetuously.

    The War Tiger Wiliam Dalton
  • He clenched his fists in vexation and looked up at her impetuously.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • Then impetuously she faced him, her eyes searching his, her hands tight clasped, her whole being one of supplication.

    The White Desert Courtney Ryley Cooper
  • "Very well, I know what I shall do," said the prince, impetuously.

    Ten Years Later Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • She came down the stairs tremulously, catching his outstretched hand and kissing it impetuously.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • She presses it to her lips, and impetuously breaks for the shore!

  • The rest live upon their past; this one sets out now impetuously to conquer the future.

  • "Then there is not a moment to be lost," cried the Abb, impetuously.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for impetuously


liable to act without consideration; rash; impulsive
resulting from or characterized by rashness or haste
(poetic) moving with great force or violence; rushing: the impetuous stream hurtled down the valley
Derived Forms
impetuously, adverb
impetuousness, impetuosity (ɪmˌpɛtjʊˈɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin impetuōsus violent; see impetus
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 impetuously



late 14c., "hot-tempered, fierce," from Old French impetuos (13c.) and directly from Late Latin impetuosus "impetuous, violent," from Latin impetus "attack" (see impetus). Related: Impetuously; impetuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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