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[puh-remp-tuh-ree, per-uh mp-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /pəˈrɛmp tə ri, ˈpɛr əmpˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
leaving no opportunity for denial or refusal; imperative:
a peremptory command.
imperious or dictatorial.
positive or assertive in speech, tone, manner, etc.
  1. that precludes or does not admit of debate, question, etc.:
    a peremptory edict.
  2. decisive or final.
  3. in which a command is absolute and unconditional:
    a peremptory writ.
Origin of peremptory
1505-15; < Latin peremptōrius final, decisive, literally, deadly, destructive (derivative of perimere to take away fully, destroy, slay), equivalent to per- per- + em-, base of emere to buy, orig. to take + -tōrius -tory1, with intrusive p
Related forms
peremptorily, adverb
peremptoriness, noun
overperemptorily, adverb
overperemptorilyness, noun
overperemptory, adjective
unperemptorily, adverb
unperemptoriness, noun
unperemptory, adjective
Can be confused
peremptory, preemptive.
2. arbitrary, dogmatic, domineering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for peremptorily
Historical Examples
  • peremptorily I dismissed these harassing and frightful doubts.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
  • We reached the Porta Fodesta, and peremptorily bade the guard to open for us.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • She waved him peremptorily, almost contemptuously, into silence.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • "Citoyenne, I am waiting for you to alight," he said peremptorily.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • "I will not be tormented with these requests, Parkes," said he, peremptorily.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • "Go on with your statement, sir," said Cashel, peremptorily.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • "But of course, papa, you 'll not permit it; you 'll forbid him peremptorily," broke in Bella.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • So certain that it has been refused,——peremptorily, flatly refused.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • “Stop,” he said peremptorily, raising himself with a wrenching effort.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • The crew hung in the wind, but he addressed them peremptorily.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
British Dictionary definitions for peremptorily


urgent or commanding: a peremptory ring on the bell
not able to be remitted or debated; decisive
positive or assured in speech, manner, etc; dogmatic
  1. admitting of no denial or contradiction; precluding debate
  2. obligatory rather than permissive
Derived Forms
peremptorily, adverb
peremptoriness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-Norman peremptorie, from Latin peremptōrius decisive, from perimere to take away completely, from per- (intensive) + emere to take
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 peremptorily



"decisive," mid-15c., legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Middle French peremtoire, from Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," from perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per- "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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