[ 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.

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 forms

im·pet·u·ous·ly, adverbim·pet·u·ous·ness, noun

Can be confused

compulsive 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 Forms

impetuously, 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