imminent

[im-uh-nuhnt]

adjective

likely to occur at any moment; impending: Her death is imminent.
projecting or leaning forward; overhanging.

Nearby words

  1. immigrant,
  2. immigrate,
  3. immigration,
  4. immigration and nationality act,
  5. imminence,
  6. imminently,
  7. immingham,
  8. immingle,
  9. immiscible,
  10. immiserate

Origin of imminent

1520–30; < Latin imminent- (stem of imminēns), present participle of imminēre to overhang, equivalent to im- im-1 + -min- from a base meaning “jut out, project, rise” (cf. eminent, mount2) + -ent- -ent

SYNONYMS FOR imminent
1. near, at hand. Imminent, Impending, Threatening all may carry the implication of menace, misfortune, disaster, but they do so in differing degrees. Imminent may portend evil: an imminent catastrophe, but also may mean simply “about to happen”: The merger is imminent. Impending has a weaker sense of immediacy and threat than imminent : Real tax relief legislation is impending, but it too may be used in situations portending disaster: impending social upheaval; to dread the impending investigation. Threatening almost always suggests ominous warning and menace: a threatening sky just before the tornado struck.

Related formsim·mi·nent·ly, adverbim·mi·nent·ness, nounun·im·mi·nent, adjective

Can be confusedeminent immanent imminent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imminent


British Dictionary definitions for imminent

imminent

adjective

liable to happen soon; impending
obsolete jutting out or overhanging
Derived Formsimminence or imminentness, nounimminently, adverb

Word Origin for imminent

C16: from Latin imminēre to project over, from im- (in) + -minēre to project; related to mons mountain

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 imminent

imminent

adj.

1520s, from Middle French imminent (14c.) and directly from Latin imminentem (nominative imminens), present participle of imminere "to overhang; impend, be near, be at hand," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + minere "jut out," related to mons "hill" (see mount (n.)). Related: Imminently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper