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90s Slang You Should Know


[im-pawr-toon, -tyoon, im-pawr-chuh n] /ˌɪm pɔrˈtun, -ˈtyun, ɪmˈpɔr tʃən/
verb (used with object), importuned, importuning.
to press or beset with solicitations; demand with urgency or persistence.
to make improper advances toward (a person).
to beg for (something) urgently or persistently.
Obsolete. to annoy.
Obsolete. to press; impel.
verb (used without object), importuned, importuning.
to make urgent or persistent solicitations.
to make improper advances toward another person.
Origin of importune
1350-1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin importūnus unsuitable, troublesome, relentless; see im-2, opportune
Related forms
importunely, adverb
importuner, noun
unimportuned, adjective
1, 3. beseech, entreat, implore, supplicate, solicit. 6. plead. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for importuning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A boy under the age of 16 years, whilst engaged in street trading, shall not annoy any person by importuning.

    Child Labor in City Streets Edward Nicholas Clopper
  • Instantly the importuning began, everybody crowding about her.

    The Arm-Chair at the Inn F. Hopkinson Smith
  • This appeared to satisfy Clarke, who was very anxious to be something, and had long been importuning Bonaparte for an appointment.

    Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
  • I saw I advanced nothing by importuning her, and I let the matter rest.

    The History of Prostitution William W. Sanger
  • He is importuning my son-in-law, Mr. Alston, to pay him back those funds—which once he was so ready to furnish to us.

  • It must be confest, Damon, that you are the most importuning Man in the World.

  • A well-filled purse jingled in his pocket and now and then he tossed a silver coin to some importuning Indian along the road.

    Port O' Gold Louis John Stellman
  • A great many wooers were importuning her, among whom a certain Alfvine, a great champion and man-slayer.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • Already the energetic mother was importuning Charles to engage the daughter.

    Charles Frohman: Manager and Man Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
British Dictionary definitions for importuning


verb (transitive)
to harass with persistent requests; demand of (someone) insistently
to beg for persistently; request with insistence
  1. to anger or annoy
  2. to force; impel
Derived Forms
importuner, noun
importunity, importunacy, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin importūnus tiresome, from im-in-1 + -portūnus as in opportūnusopportune
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 importuning



1520s, back-formation from importunity, or else from Middle French importuner, from Medieval Latin importunari "to make oneself troublesome," from Latin importunus "unfit, troublesome," originally "having no harbor" (i.e. "difficult to access"), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + portus "harbor" (see port (n.1)). Related: Importuned; importuning. As an adjective from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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