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
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 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.

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

Examples from the Web for impetuousness

Contemporary Examples of impetuousness

  • The same brash arrogance and impetuousness applied to criminal cases rather than flame wars has had real consequences.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The New Vigilantes

    Jacob Siegel

    October 19, 2013

Historical Examples of impetuousness

  • "We forgive much to the impetuousness of youth," said he, very coldly.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • I would have rushed on it with a boy's impetuousness, but he stopped me with a hand on the sleeve.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • The glistening youth of Aaron, the impetuousness of Lilly fascinated him.

    Aaron's Rod

    D. H. Lawrence

  • She was not being facetious, for in her impetuousness she had tried, and broken the umbrella.

    Rich Relatives

    Compton Mackenzie

  • That is, the impetuousness of his thought makes one aware of how his instinct is struggling for the solution of his difficulties.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy

British Dictionary definitions for impetuousness



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 impetuousness



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