[ im-pen-ding ]
/ ɪmˈpɛn dɪŋ /


about to happen; imminent: their impending marriage.
imminently threatening or menacing: an impending storm.
Archaic. overhanging.

Nearby words

  1. impel,
  2. impellent,
  3. impeller,
  4. impend,
  5. impendent,
  6. impenetrability,
  7. impenetrable,
  8. impenitence,
  9. impenitent,
  10. impennate

Origin of impending

First recorded in 1675–85; impend + -ing2

Can be confusedpending impending


[ im-pend ]
/ ɪmˈpɛnd /

verb (used without object)

to be imminent; be about to happen.
to threaten or menace: He felt that danger impended.
Archaic. to hang or be suspended; overhang (usually followed by over).

Origin of impend

First recorded in 1580–90, impend is from the Latin word impendēre to hang over, threaten. See im-1, pend

Related formssu·per·im·pend, verb (used without object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impending

British Dictionary definitions for impending


/ (ɪmˈpɛndɪŋ) /


about to happen; imminent


/ (ɪmˈpɛnd) /

verb (intr)

(esp of something threatening) to be about to happen; be imminent
(foll by over) rare to be suspended; hang
Derived Formsimpendence or impendency, noun

Word Origin for impend

C16: from Latin impendēre to overhang, from pendēre to hang

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 impending



1590s, from figurative use of Latin impendere "to hang over, to be imminent," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pendere "hang" (see pendant). Related: Impended; impending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper