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impetuous

[im-pech-oo-uh s]
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by sudden or rash action, emotion, etc.; impulsive: an impetuous decision; an impetuous person.
  2. having great impetus; moving with great force; violent: the impetuous winds.
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Origin of impetuous

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin impetuōsus, equivalent to Latin impetu(s) impetus + -ōsus -ous
Related formsim·pet·u·ous·ly, adverbim·pet·u·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedcompulsive impulsive impetuous (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

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1. eager, headlong. Impetuous, impulsive both refer to persons who are hasty and precipitate in action, or to actions not preceded by thought. Impetuous suggests eagerness, violence, rashness: impetuous vivacity; impetuous desire; impetuous words. Impulsive emphasizes spontaneity and lack of reflection: an impulsive act of generosity.

Antonyms

1. planned, careful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for impetuous

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "It is a great deal worse to drive without her," said the impetuous lady.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Then, indeed, she had burst upon him with an impetuous despair that had alarmed him.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • At the impetuous outflinging of her hands, the floor was strewn with pink petals.

  • He was an impetuous leader; but he was skilful too; he never lost his head.

  • Another minute, and impetuous Tom would have burst the window in.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood


British Dictionary definitions for impetuous

impetuous

adjective
  1. liable to act without consideration; rash; impulsive
  2. resulting from or characterized by rashness or haste
  3. poetic moving with great force or violence; rushingthe impetuous stream hurtled down the valley
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Derived Formsimpetuously, adverbimpetuousness or impetuosity (ɪmˌpɛtjʊˈɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin impetuōsus violent; see impetus
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 impetuous

adj.

late 14c., "hot-tempered, fierce," from Old French impetuos (13c.) and directly from Late Latin impetuosus "impetuous, violent," from Latin impetus "attack" (see impetus). Related: Impetuously; impetuousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper