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See more synonyms for imbue on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), im·bued, im·bu·ing.
  1. to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.: The new political leader was imbued with the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
  2. to saturate or impregnate with moisture, color, etc.
  3. to imbrue.
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Origin of imbue

First recorded in 1545–55, imbue is from the Latin word imbuere to wet, drench
Related formsim·bue·ment, nounpre·im·bue, verb (used with object), pre·im·bued, pre·im·bu·ing.un·im·bued, adjective
Can be confusedimbrue imbue


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

permeate, ingrain, suffuse, inculcate, pervade, leaven, steep, instill, bathe, impregnate, invest, inoculate, infix, diffuse

Examples from the Web for imbued

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her husband had ideas on that subject, and had imbued her with them.

  • The air and sunshine, nay, the very rocks are imbued with it.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Men should be imbued with a sense of their strength, not of their weakness.

  • Christians are imbued with a psychology derived from a completed revelation.

  • Imbued with a momentary courage, she advanced to her husband and took his hand.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter

British Dictionary definitions for imbued


verb -bues, -buing or -bued (tr usually foll by with)
  1. to instil or inspire (with ideals, principles, etc)his sermons were imbued with the spirit of the Reformation
  2. rare to soak, esp with moisture, dye, etc
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Derived Formsimbuement, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin imbuere to stain, accustom
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

Word Origin and History for imbued



early 15c., "to keep wet; to soak, saturate;" also figuratively "to cause to absorb" (feelings, opinions, etc.), from Latin imbuere "moisten," of uncertain origin, perhaps from the same root as imbrication. Cf. also Old French embu, past participle of emboivre, from Latin imbibere "drink in, soak in" (see imbibe), which might have influenced the English word. Related: Imbued; imbuing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper