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. 2018

Examples from the Web for imprecatory

Contemporary Examples of imprecatory

  • According to the film, Muthee organized several weeks of imprecatory prayer against Mama Jane.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside Sarah's Church

    Max Blumenthal

    September 5, 2009

  • He has been offering “imprecatory prayers” against “the usurper that is in the White House…B. Hussein Obama.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Obama Haters' Next Move

    John Avlon

    July 20, 2009

Historical Examples of imprecatory

British Dictionary definitions for imprecatory


  1. (intr) to swear, curse, or blaspheme
  2. (tr) to invoke or bring down (evil, a curse, etc)to imprecate disaster on the ship
  3. (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 imprecatory



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper