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imp

[imp]
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noun
  1. a little devil or demon; an evil spirit.
  2. a mischievous child.
  3. Archaic. a scion or offshoot of a plant or tree.
  4. Archaic. an offspring.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Falconry.
    1. to graft (feathers) into a wing.
    2. to furnish (a wing, tail, etc.) with feathers, as to make good losses or deficiencies and improve powers of flight.
  2. Archaic. to add a piece to; mend or repair.
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Origin of imp

before 900; (noun) Middle English impe, Old English impa, impe shoot, graft < Late Latin impotus, imputus grafted shoot < Greek émphytos planted, implanted, verbal adjective of emphŷein to implant (em- em-2 + phŷein to bring forth); (v.) Middle English impen to plant, graft, Old English impian, geimpian, derivative of the noun (compare Old High German impfōn, impitōn > German impfen to inoculate); sense “demon” < phrase imp of the devil

Synonyms for imp

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IMP

  1. International Match Point.
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imp.

1
  1. in the first place.
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Origin of imp.

1
From the Latin word imprīmīs

imp.

2

Imp.

1
  1. Emperor.
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Origin of Imp.

1
From the Latin word Imperātor

Imp.

2
  1. Empress.
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Origin of Imp.

2
From the Latin word Imperātrīx
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for imp

troll, gremlin, minx, devil, brat, puck, elf, rascal, tyke, pixie, villain, rogue, scamp, hellion, fiend, demon, urchin, gnome, sprite, gamin

Examples from the Web for imp

Contemporary Examples of imp

Historical Examples of imp

  • Cars, costumes, banners and decorations were all designed by this imp of ten.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • With the genitive to be supplied: brec þonne mste, 1488; imp.

    Beowulf

    Unknown

  • "I'm very superstitious; I am sure it was an imp," Miss Sherwood said.

  • An imp or a very large chameleon; she was exactly the color of the road.

  • I put my own childhood into this imp, into him my first feelings toward this place.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole


British Dictionary definitions for imp

imp

noun
  1. a small demon or devil; mischievous sprite
  2. a mischievous child
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verb
  1. (tr) falconry to insert (new feathers) into the stumps of broken feathers in order to repair the wing of a hawk or falcon
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Word Origin for imp

Old English impa bud, graft, hence offspring, child, from impian to graft, ultimately from Greek emphutos implanted, from emphuein to implant, from phuein to plant

imp.

abbreviation for
  1. imperative
  2. imperfect
  3. imperial
  4. imprimatur
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Imp.

abbreviation for
  1. Imperator
  2. Imperatrix
  3. Imperial
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Word Origin for Imp.

(for sense 1) Latin: Emperor; (for sense 2) Latin: Empress
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 imp

n.

Old English impe, impa "young shoot, graft," from impian "to graft," probably an early West Germanic borrowing from Vulgar Latin *imptus, from Late Latin impotus "implanted," from Greek emphytos, verbal adjective formed from emphyein "implant," from em- "in" + phyein "to plant" (see physic).

Sense of "child, offspring" (late 14c.) came from transfer of word from plants to people, with notion of "newness" preserved. Modern meaning "little devil" (1580s) is from common use in pejorative phrases like imp of Satan.

Suche appereth as aungelles, but in very dede they be ymps of serpentes. ["The Pilgrimage of Perfection," 1526]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper