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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 peremptoriness
Historical Examples
  • "Come, Jimmy," said the master, with a touch of peremptoriness.

    Cressy Bret Harte
  • He spoke quite civilly, but the peremptoriness jarred on her.

    Into the Highways and Hedges F. F. Montrsor (Frances Frederica)
  • peremptoriness and fondness mingled both in his word and manner.

    Trevethlan: Volume 1 William Davy Watson
  • Then the faithful Sam revived his suit with some peremptoriness.

    Life's Little Ironies Thomas Hardy
  • "I wish you to tell me," persisted Alexa, with a peremptoriness which came of the school-master.

    The Elect Lady George MacDonald
  • Nettie's haste and peremptoriness were mixed, if it must be told, with a little resentment against the world in general.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • “Don't go out, Ida,” he said, with a peremptoriness which sat strangely upon him.

    By the Light of the Soul Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • And yet she had a curious impulse, an inner conviction that urged with a peremptoriness that over-rode subterfuge.

  • A deep, masculine voice, unmistakable in the peremptoriness of its command, sounded from the massed tangle of the hillside.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry Charles Neville Buck
  • He spoke with peremptoriness, as he placed a chair for her feet, so that she might sit with her back to the loom.

    The Graysons Edward Eggleston
British Dictionary definitions for peremptoriness


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 peremptoriness



"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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