• synonyms


[puh-remp-tuh-ree, per-uh mp-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
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  1. leaving no opportunity for denial or refusal; imperative: a peremptory command.
  2. imperious or dictatorial.
  3. positive or assertive in speech, tone, manner, etc.
  4. Law.
    1. that precludes or does not admit of debate, question, etc.: a peremptory edict.
    2. decisive or final.
    3. in which a command is absolute and unconditional: a peremptory writ.
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Origin of peremptory

1505–15; < Latin peremptōrius final, decisive, literally, deadly, destructive (derivative of perimere to take away fully, destroy, slay), equivalent to per- per- + em-, base of emere to buy, orig. to take + -tōrius -tory1, with intrusive p
Related formsper·emp·to·ri·ly, adverbper·emp·to·ri·ness, nouno·ver·per·emp·to·ri·ly, adverbo·ver·per·emp·to·ri·ly·ness, nouno·ver·per·emp·to·ry, adjectiveun·per·emp·to·ri·ly, adverbun·per·emp·to·ri·ness, nounun·per·emp·to·ry, adjective
Can be confusedperemptory preemptive


See more synonyms for peremptory on Thesaurus.com
2. arbitrary, dogmatic, domineering.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peremptoriness

Historical Examples

  • "Come, Jimmy," said the master, with a touch of peremptoriness.


    Bret Harte

  • He spoke quite civilly, but the peremptoriness jarred on her.

    Into the Highways and Hedges

    F. F. Montrsor (Frances Frederica)

  • Peremptoriness and fondness mingled both in his word and manner.

    Trevethlan: Volume 1

    William Davy Watson

  • Then the faithful Sam revived his suit with some peremptoriness.

  • "I wish you to tell me," persisted Alexa, with a peremptoriness which came of the school-master.

    The Elect Lady

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for peremptoriness


  1. urgent or commandinga peremptory ring on the bell
  2. not able to be remitted or debated; decisive
  3. positive or assured in speech, manner, etc; dogmatic
  4. law
    1. admitting of no denial or contradiction; precluding debate
    2. obligatory rather than permissive
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Derived Formsperemptorily, adverbperemptoriness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Anglo-Norman peremptorie, from Latin peremptōrius decisive, from perimere to take away completely, from per- (intensive) + emere to take
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 peremptoriness



"decisive," mid-15c., legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Middle French peremtoire, from Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," from perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per- "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper