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See more synonyms for impetuous on Thesaurus.com
  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)


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.


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

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Examples from the Web for impetuously

Historical Examples

  • She presses it to her lips, and impetuously breaks for the shore!

    Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 8, May 21, 1870


  • He paused for a moment, and then, impetuously, he turned to Roger.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "I 'll not believe a word of it, Bagenal," said the Knight, impetuously.

  • "Then there is not a moment to be lost," cried the Abb, impetuously.

  • Roland, ever greedy for the post of danger, impetuously asked that he might be chosen.

British Dictionary definitions for impetuously


  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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper