[ imp ]
/ ɪmp /
a little devil or demon; an evil spirit.
a mischievous child.
Archaic. a scion or offshoot of a plant or tree.
Archaic. an offspring.
verb (used with object)
- to graft (feathers) into a wing.
- to furnish (a wing, tail, etc.) with feathers, as to make good losses or deficiencies and improve powers of flight.
Archaic. to add a piece to; mend or repair.
Origin of imp
before 900; (noun) Middle English impe, Old English impa, impe shoot, graft < Late Latin impotus, imputus grafted shoot < Greek émphytos planted, implanted, verbal adjective of emphŷein to implant (em- em-2 + phŷein to bring forth); (v.) Middle English impen to plant, graft, Old English impian, geimpian, derivative of the noun (compare Old High German impfōn, impitōn > German impfen to inoculate); sense “demon” < phrase imp of the devil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for imping
/ (ɪmp) /
a small demon or devil; mischievous sprite
a mischievous child
(tr) falconry to insert (new feathers) into the stumps of broken feathers in order to repair the wing of a hawk or falcon
Word Origin for imp
Old English impa bud, graft, hence offspring, child, from impian to graft, ultimately from Greek emphutos implanted, from emphuein to implant, from phuein to plant
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