View synonyms for peremptory


[ puh-remp-tuh-ree ]


  1. leaving no opportunity for denial or refusal; imperative:

    a peremptory command.

  2. imperious or dictatorial.

    Synonyms: domineering, dogmatic, arbitrary

  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.


/ pəˈrɛmptərɪ /


  1. urgent or commanding

    a 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
“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

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Derived Forms

  • perˈemptoriness, noun
  • perˈemptorily, adverb
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Other Words From

  • per·emp·to·ri·ly [p, uh, -remp-, tawr, -i-lee], adverb
  • per·emp·to·ri·ness noun
  • o·ver·per·emp·to·ri·ness noun
  • o·ver·per·emp·to·ry adjective
  • un·per·emp·to·ri·ness noun
  • un·per·emp·to·ry adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of peremptory1

First recorded in 1505–15; from 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,” originally “to take” + -tōrius -tory 1, with intrusive p
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Word History and Origins

Origin of peremptory1

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

He telegraphed her a peremptory appeal to go up to her house in London, and she was too wise to refuse.

A peremptory message was sent at the same time to Matthews to demand his ultimate answer.

My father, my own weakness, or your own peremptory commands could not keep me at Belleville when I knew you had been brought here.

Ten shillings and Jaffery's peremptory order to stick to his side and obey him slavishly took the place of intellectual workings.

But here the peremptory tones of his father called the young philosopher to take the colts down to the lower pasture.


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More About Peremptory

What does peremptory mean?

Peremptory describes having no room for denial or refusal, as in The CEO’s peremptory remarks ended all discussion on the sale of the company.

When it refers to a person’s manner, peremptory means authoritative or demanding, as in Kayla’s peremptory look always stopped her children from arguing with her.

Peremptory can also describe speech or manner as assertive, as in When you present your idea to the committee, be confident and peremptory. 

In law, peremptory can describe something as final or definite. For example, a peremptory trial date means that the trial is happening on that date and that you can’t delay it any further. 

In law, peremptory can also mean absolute and unconditional, as with a formal order (writ).

Be careful not to confuse peremptory with preemptory. Preemptory relates to doing something before someone else. A preemptory attack, for example, would be an attack made on the enemy before they can make one on you. 

Example: The boss was known for making frequent and peremptory commands that no one dared disobey.

Where does peremptory come from?

The first records of the term peremptory come from around the early 1500s. It comes from the Latin peremptōrius, meaning “final, decisive, deadly.”

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What are some other forms related to peremptory?

  • peremptorily (adverb)
  • unperemptory (adjective)

What are some synonyms for peremptory?

What are some words that share a root or word element with peremptory

What are some words that often get used in discussing peremptory?

What are some words peremptory may be commonly confused with?

How is peremptory used in real life?

Peremptory is mostly used in legal contexts to describe an absolute command or undebatable decision.

Try using peremptory!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of peremptory

A. polite
B. commanding
C. abrupt
D. imperious




peremptorilyperemptory challenge