- a little devil or demon; an evil spirit.
- a mischievous child.
- Archaic. a scion or offshoot of a plant or tree.
- Archaic. an offspring.
- to graft (feathers) into a wing.
- to furnish (a wing, tail, etc.) with feathers, as to make good losses or deficiencies and improve powers of flight.
- Archaic. to add a piece to; mend or repair.
Origin of imp
Synonyms for imp
Examples from the Web for imped
Historical Examples of imped
If there has been a broken feather, the damaged hawk must be imped.
This is when the broken feather is to be imped merely for the purpose of the moult.
When only the tip of a wing feather is gone it would of course be only for the sake of appearances that it would be imped.
I have joined the wing, father, and I have imped the feathers; but I fear it will be Christmas ere she can fly again.Sir Nigel
Arthur Conan Doyle
- a small demon or devil; mischievous sprite
- a mischievous child
- (tr) falconry to insert (new feathers) into the stumps of broken feathers in order to repair the wing of a hawk or falcon
Word Origin for imp
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]