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[im-pri-keyt] /ˈɪm prɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), imprecated, imprecating.
to invoke or call down (evil or curses), as upon a person.
Origin of imprecate
1605-15; < Latin imprecātus past participle of imprecārī to invoke, pray to or for, equivalent to im- im-1 + prec- pray + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
imprecator, noun
imprecatory, adjective
unimprecated, adjective
curse, execrate, anathematize, accurse, denunciate.
bless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for imprecatory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The one redeeming feature in these imprecatory petitions is that they have always served the Oriental as a safety-valve.

    The Syrian Christ Abraham Mitrie Rihbany
  • Caleb read on; he was reading now one of the imprecatory psalms.

    Pembroke Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Calvin reproved Rn, Duchess of Ferrara, for not approving of the spirit of the imprecatory psalms.

  • The imprecatory Epitaph referred to has already appeared in our columns.

  • The imprecatory expressions which he made use of can never be copied by a feminine pen.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • We do not claim that the imprecatory Psalms were David's best, but they must have helped him immensely in writing the other ones.

    Crowds Gerald Stanley Lee
  • The imprecatory manner of it may be considered to be simply a solemn signification of the speaker's own assent and approval.

  • Desvœux put on Blunt's square awkward manner and coughed an imprecatory cough.

    Chronicles of Dustypore Henry Stewart Cunningham
British Dictionary definitions for imprecatory


(intransitive) to swear, curse, or blaspheme
(transitive) to invoke or bring down (evil, a curse, etc): to imprecate disaster on the ship
(transitive) to put a curse on
Derived Forms
imprecatory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin imprecārī to invoke, from im-in-² + precārī to pray
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 imprecatory



1610s, probably a back-formation from imprecation. Related: Imprecated; imprecating; imprecatory (1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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