[ im-per-uh-tiv ]
/ ɪmˈpɛr ə tɪv /
something that demands attention or action; an unavoidable obligation or requirement; necessity: It is an imperative that we help defend friendly nations.
- the imperative mood.
- a verb in this mood.
an obligatory statement, principle, or the like.
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Origin of imperative
OTHER WORDS FROM imperative
im·per·a·tive·ly, adverbim·per·a·tive·ness, nounnon·im·per·a·tive, adjectivenon·im·per·a·tive·ly, adverb
non·im·per·a·tive·ness, nounun·im·per·a·tive, adjectiveun·im·per·a·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for imperative
/ (ɪmˈpɛrətɪv) /
extremely urgent or important; essential
peremptory or authoritativean imperative tone of voice
Also: imperatival (ɪmˌpɛrəˈtaɪvəl) grammar denoting a mood of verbs used in giving orders, making requests, etc. In English the verb root without any inflections is the usual form, as for example leave in Leave me alone
something that is urgent or essential
an order or command
- the imperative mood
- a verb in this mood
Derived forms of imperativeimperatively, adverbimperativeness, noun
Word Origin for imperative
C16: from Late Latin imperātīvus, from Latin imperāre to command
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
Cultural definitions for imperative
A grammatical category describing verbs that command or request: “Leave town by tonight”; “Please hand me the spoon.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.