View synonyms for impose


[ im-pohz ]

verb (used with object)

, im·posed, im·pos·ing.
  1. to lay on or set as something to be borne, endured, obeyed, fulfilled, paid, etc.:

    to impose taxes.

  2. to put or set by or as if by authority:

    to impose one's personal preference on others.

  3. to obtrude or thrust (oneself, one's company, etc.) upon others.

    Synonyms: foist, force

  4. to pass or palm off fraudulently or deceptively:

    He imposed his pretentious books on the public.

  5. Printing. to lay (type pages, plates, etc.) in proper order on an imposing stone or the like and secure in a chase for printing.
  6. to lay on or inflict, as a penalty.
  7. Archaic. to put or place on something, or in a particular place.
  8. Obsolete. to lay on (the hands) ceremonially, as in confirmation or ordination.

verb (used without object)

, im·posed, im·pos·ing.
  1. to make an impression on the mind; impose one's or its authority or influence.
  2. to obtrude oneself or one's requirements, as upon others:

    Are you sure my request doesn't impose?

  3. to presume, as upon patience or good nature.

verb phrase

    1. to thrust oneself offensively upon others; intrude.
    2. to take unfair advantage of; misuse (influence, friendship, etc.).
    3. to defraud; cheat; deceive:

      A study recently showed the shocking number of confidence men that impose on the public.


/ ɪmˈpəʊz /


  1. tr to establish as something to be obeyed or complied with; enforce

    to impose a tax on the people

  2. to force (oneself, one's presence, etc) on another or others; obtrude
  3. intr to take advantage, as of a person or quality

    to impose on someone's kindness

  4. tr printing to arrange pages so that after printing and folding the pages will be in the correct order
  5. tr to pass off deceptively; foist

    to impose a hoax on someone

  6. tr (of a bishop or priest) to lay (the hands) on the head of a candidate for certain sacraments

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Derived Forms

  • imˈposable, adjective
  • imˈposer, noun

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Other Words From

  • im·pos·a·ble adjective
  • im·pos·er noun
  • o·ver·im·pose verb (used with object) overimposed overimposing
  • pre·im·pose verb (used with object) preimposed preimposing
  • re·im·pose verb reimposed reimposing

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Word History and Origins

Origin of impose1

First recorded in 1475–85; late Middle English, from Middle French imposer, equivalent to im- im- 1 + poser “to stop, cease”; pose 1; pose 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of impose1

C15: from Old French imposer, from Latin impōnere to place upon, from pōnere to place, set

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Example Sentences

Before the coronavirus pandemic imposed restrictions on physical contact, the Patrick Henry and Georgetown students gathered in person, and over the course of the program, they interacted with different partners.

The second wave of internet regulation laws is now targeting platforms by imposing demands.

From Quartz

In one case, the governor imposes strict lockdowns, mask wearing, and so on.

From Vox

The Reagan-era Lifeline program imposes fees on telecom giants such as AT&T and Verizon, which pass them along to phone subscribers on their monthly bills.

If Amazon were to make what the FTC considers “deceptive earnings claims” for a second time, the agency would then have the authority to impose civil penalties as well.

From Time

Expectations, reasonable or unrealistic, remain so even if we impose them on ourselves.

The United Nations was prompted to impose a ban on selling mainframe computers or laptops to North Korea.

The United States has tools to impose costs on the North Koreans.

We can, due to the critical issues at stake, also go one more step and impose an embargo.

I make a distinction between personal essays and memoir, which is a personal distinction, not one I would impose upon others.

Any delay in covering such deficit shall be subject to such charge as the Federal Reserve Board may impose.

Hence, in their professed attempt to aid the memory, they really impose a new and additional burden upon it.

An attempt to impose an imitation on a practised judge is always productive of an unpleasant result.

But he failed to impose upon the Colonel, and was even far from impressing him with this trumped-up knowledge of bygone days.

Moreover, it must be prejudicial to the national interest to impose parliamentary taxes.


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