verb (used with object), im·pre·cat·ed, im·pre·cat·ing.

to invoke or call down (evil or curses), as upon a person.

Origin of imprecate

1605–15; < Latin imprecātus past participle of imprecārī to invoke, pray to or for, equivalent to im- im-1 + prec- pray + -ātus -ate1
Related formsim·pre·ca·tor, nounim·pre·ca·to·ry, adjectiveun·im·pre·cat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for imprecate

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

Examples from the Web for imprecate

Historical Examples of imprecate

  • There was nothing for him to resent, nothing for him to imprecate but his own folly.

    The Alaskan

    James Oliver Curwood

  • But now there is scarcely a tongue in all New England that does not imprecate curses on his name.

    Grandfather's Chair

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • To imprecate evil on any living being seems to them unchristian, barbarous, a relic of dark ages and dark superstitions.

    Town and Country Sermons

    Charles Kingsley

  • I know not what I ought to imprecate on the wretches who had spread a report of your death.

  • He ceased to imprecate only when, by repetition, his oaths became too inexpressive to be worth while.

    The Eagle's Heart

    Hamlin Garland

British Dictionary definitions for imprecate



(intr) to swear, curse, or blaspheme
(tr) to invoke or bring down (evil, a curse, etc)to imprecate disaster on the ship
(tr) to put a curse on
Derived Formsimprecatory, adjective

Word Origin for imprecate

C17: from Latin imprecārī to invoke, from im- in- ² + precārī to pray
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 imprecate

1610s, probably a back-formation from imprecation. Related: Imprecated; imprecating; imprecatory (1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper