domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing: an imperious manner; an imperious person.
urgent; imperative: imperious need.

Origin of imperious

1535–45; < Latin imperiōsus commanding, tyrannical, equivalent to imperi(um) imperium + -ōsus -ous
Related formsim·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverbim·pe·ri·ous·ness, nounnon·im·pe·ri·ous, adjectivenon·im·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverbnon·im·pe·ri·ous·ness, nounun·im·pe·ri·ous, adjectiveun·im·pe·ri·ous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedimperative imperial imperious

Synonyms for imperious

Antonyms for imperious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imperiousness

Contemporary Examples of imperiousness

Historical Examples of imperiousness

  • There was an imperiousness in the lawyer's tone which was almost irresistible.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope

  • A life of indolence and luxury had bred a certain air of imperiousness in her.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild

  • And her eyes searched his with a certain boldness and imperiousness of gaze.

  • I may, perhaps, be producing an unfair impression of imperiousness and insolence.

  • By the imperiousness of her gesture and her uplifted head she swept them out before her.

    The Dust Flower

    Basil King

British Dictionary definitions for imperiousness



domineering; arrogant; overbearing
rare urgent; imperative
Derived Formsimperiously, adverbimperiousness, noun

Word Origin for imperious

C16: from Latin imperiōsus from imperium command, power
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 imperiousness



1540s, from Latin imperiosus "commanding, mighty, powerful," from imperium "empire, command" (see empire). Related: Imperiously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper