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impostor

or im·post·er

[im-pos-ter]
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noun
  1. a person who practices deception under an assumed character, identity, or name.
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Origin of impostor

1580–90; < Late Latin, equivalent to Latin impos(i)-, variant stem of impōnere to deceive, place on (see impone) + -tor -tor

impost1

[im-pohst]
noun
  1. a tax; tribute; duty.
  2. a customs duty.
  3. Horse Racing. the weight assigned to a horse in a race.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to determine customs duties on, according to the kind of imports.
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Origin of impost1

1560–70; < Medieval Latin impostus a tax, noun use of Latin impostus, variant of impositus imposed; see imposition
Related formsim·post·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cheatswindlergrifterimposterpretenderhypocritemimicposeurdeceivercharlatanquackfraudmountebankphonyfakeconshamconniver

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British Dictionary definitions for imposter

impost1

noun
  1. a tax, esp a customs duty
  2. horse racing the specific weight that a particular horse must carry in a handicap race
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verb
  1. (tr) US to classify (imported goods) according to the duty payable on them
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Derived Formsimposter, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin impostus tax, from Latin impositus imposed; see impose

impost2

noun
  1. architect a member at the top of a wall, pier, or column that supports an arch, esp one that has a projecting moulding
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Word Origin

C17: from French imposte, from Latin impositus placed upon; see impose

impostor

imposter

noun
  1. a person who deceives others, esp by assuming a false identity; charlatan
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Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin: deceiver; see impose
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 imposter

impostor

n.

1580s, from Middle French imposteur (16c.), from Late Latin impostor, agent noun from impostus, collateral form of impositus, past participle of imponere "place upon, impose upon, deceive," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + ponere "to put place" (see position).

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impost

n.

"tax, duty," 1560s, from Middle French impost, from Medieval Latin impostum, from neuter of Latin impostus, contracted from impositus, past participle of imponere (see impostor).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper