[ im-pech-oo-uhs ]
/ ɪmˈpɛtʃ u əs /


of, relating to, or characterized by sudden or rash action, emotion, etc.; impulsive: an impetuous decision; an impetuous person.
having great impetus; moving with great force; violent: the impetuous winds.

Nearby words

  1. impetigo herpetiformis,
  2. impetigo neonatorum,
  3. impetigo vulgaris,
  4. impetrate,
  5. impetuosity,
  6. impetus,
  7. impf.,
  8. imphal,
  9. impi,
  10. impiety

Origin of impetuous

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin impetuōsus, equivalent to Latin impetu(s) impetus + -ōsus -ous

SYNONYMS FOR impetuous
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.

Related formsim·pet·u·ous·ly, adverbim·pet·u·ous·ness, noun

Can be confusedcompulsive impulsive impetuous (see synonym study at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impetuously

British Dictionary definitions for impetuously


/ (ɪmˈpɛtjʊəs) /


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

Word Origin for impetuous

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 impetuously



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper