[im-pawr-toon, -tyoon, im-pawr-chuhn]
verb (used with object), im·por·tuned, im·por·tun·ing.
  1. to press or beset with solicitations; demand with urgency or persistence.
  2. to make improper advances toward (a person).
  3. to beg for (something) urgently or persistently.
  4. Obsolete. to annoy.
  5. Obsolete. to press; impel.
verb (used without object), im·por·tuned, im·por·tun·ing.
  1. to make urgent or persistent solicitations.
  2. to make improper advances toward another person.
  1. importunate.

Origin of importune

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin importūnus unsuitable, troublesome, relentless; see im-2, opportune
Related formsim·por·tune·ly, adverbim·por·tun·er, nounun·im·por·tuned, adjective

Synonyms for importune Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for importuning

Contemporary Examples of importuning

Historical Examples of importuning

British Dictionary definitions for importuning


verb (tr)
  1. to harass with persistent requests; demand of (someone) insistently
  2. to beg for persistently; request with insistence
  3. obsolete
    1. to anger or annoy
    2. to force; impel
Derived Formsimportuner, nounimportunity or importunacy, noun

Word Origin for importune

C16: from Latin importūnus tiresome, from im- in- 1 + -portūnus as in opportūnus opportune
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 importuning



1520s, back-formation from importunity, or else from Middle French importuner, from Medieval Latin importunari "to make oneself troublesome," from Latin importunus "unfit, troublesome," originally "having no harbor" (i.e. "difficult to access"), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + portus "harbor" (see port (n.1)). Related: Importuned; importuning. As an adjective from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper