immense (adj.) Look up immense at
"great beyond measure," early 15c., from Old French immense (mid-14c.), from Latin immensus "immeasurable, boundless," also used figuratively, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + mensus "measured," past participle of metiri "to measure" (see measure (v.)). A vogue word in 18c., and mocked as such:
For instance, a long while every thing was immense great and immense little, immense handsome and immense ugly. Miss Tippet from the cloisters, could not drink tea with Master Parchment at the White Conduit-house, unless it was an immense fine day, yet probably it might rain so immense, there was no going without a coach. ["Town and Country Magazine" (in "Annual Register" for 1772)]
immensely (adv.) Look up immensely at
1650s, from immense + -ly (2).
immensity (n.) Look up immensity at
mid-15c., "vastness; infinity," from Middle French immensité (14c.) or directly from Latin immensitatem (nominative immensitas) "immeasurableness," noun of quality from immensus "immeasurable, boundless" (see immense). Immenseness is from c. 1600.
immensurable (adj.) Look up immensurable at
"immeasurable," c. 1500, from Old French immensurable, from Late Latin immensurabilis, from mensurabilis "able to be measured" (see mensurable).
immerge (v.) Look up immerge at
1620s (trans.), "immerse, plunge into (a fluid)," from Latin immergere "to dip, plunge into" (see immersion). Intransitive sense from 1706. Rare; the usual verb is immerse. Related: Immerged; immerging.
immerse (v.) Look up immerse at
"to plunge into (a fluid)," early 15c. (implied in immersed), from Latin immersus, past participle of immergere "to plunge in, dip into, sink, submerge" (see immersion). Figuratively, of study, work, passion, etc., from 1660s. Related: Immersed; immersing; immersive.
immersion (n.) Look up immersion at
c. 1500, from Late Latin immersionem (nominative immersio), noun of action from past participle stem of immergere "to plunge in, dip into, sink, submerge," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + Latin mergere "plunge, dip" (see merge). Meaning "absorption in some interest or situation" is from 1640s. As a method of teaching a foreign language, 1965, trademarked by the Berlitz company.
immigrant (n.) Look up immigrant at
"one who immigrates," 1792, American English, perhaps based on French immigrant, from Latin immigrantem (nominative immigrans), present participle of immigrare "to remove, go into, move in" (see immigrate). Emigrant is older. First used in English in Jeremy Belknap's history of New Hampshire, and he generally is credited with having coined it.
There is another deviation from the strict letter of the English dictionaries; which is found extremely convenient in our discourses on population. From the verb migro are derived emigrate and IMMIGRATE; with the same propriety as from mergo are derived emerge and IMMERGE. Accordingly the verb IMMIGRATE and the nouns IMMIGRANT and IMMIGRATION are used without scruple in some parts of this volume. [Preface to vol. III of "The History of New Hampshire," Belknap, 1792]
As an adjective from 1805.
immigrate (v.) Look up immigrate at
"to pass into a place as a new inhabitant or resident," especially "to move to a country where one is not a native, for the purpose of settling permanently there," 1620s, from Latin immigratum, past participle of imigrare "to remove, go into, move in," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + migrare "to move" (see migration). Related: Immigrated; immigrating.
immigration (n.) Look up immigration at
1650s, noun of action from immigrate. As "immigrants collectively," from 1852. As short for "immigration authorities," from 1966.
imminence (n.) Look up imminence at
c. 1600, from Late Latin imminentia, from Latin imminentem (see imminent).
imminent (adj.) Look up imminent at
1520s, from Middle French imminent (14c.) and directly from Latin imminentem (nominative imminens) "overhanging; impending," present participle of imminere "to overhang, lean towards," hence "be near to," also "threaten, menace, impend, be at hand, be about to happen," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + -minere "jut out," which is related to mons "hill" (see mount (n.1)). Related: Imminently.
immiscible (adj.) Look up immiscible at
"incapable of being mixed" (as oil and water are), 1670s, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + miscible, from Latin miscere "to mix" (see mix (v.)).
immitigable (adj.) Look up immitigable at
1570s, from Latin immitigabilis, from assimilated form of in- "not" (see in- (1)) + mitigabilis, from past participle stem of mitigare "make mild or gentle" (see mitigate). Related: Immitigably.
immobile (adj.) Look up immobile at
mid-14c., originally of property; by c. 1400 "steadfast, unmovable" (of faith, etc.), from Old French immoble "immovable, fixed, motionless" (13c., Modern French immeuble), from Latin immobilis "immovable" (also, figuratively, "hard-hearted"), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + mobilis (see mobile (adj.)). Related: Immobilism "policy of extreme conservatism" (1853).
immobilise (adj.) Look up immobilise at
chiefly British English spelling of immobilize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: immobilisation; immobilised; immobilising.
immobility (n.) Look up immobility at
early 15c., from Middle French immobilité (14c.) or directly from Latin immobilitatem (nominative immobilitas) "immovableness," noun of quality from Latin immobilis "immovable" (see immobile).
immobilization (n.) Look up immobilization at
1846, noun of action from immobilize.
immobilize (v.) Look up immobilize at
"render immobile," 1843, from immobile + -ize. Perhaps modeled on French immobiliser (1835). Related: Immobilized; immobilizing.
immoderate (adj.) Look up immoderate at
"excessive, extreme, lacking moderation," late 14c., from Latin immoderatus "boundless, immeasurable," figuratively "unrestrained, excessive," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + moderatus "restrained" (see moderate (adj.)). Related: Immoderately.
immoderation (n.) Look up immoderation at
early 15c., from Latin immoderationem (nominative immoderatio) "want of moderation, excess," from immoderatus "unrestrained, excessive" (see immoderate).
immodest (adj.) Look up immodest at
1560s, "arrogant, impudent, not modest about one's pretentions," from Latin immodestus "unrestrained, excessive," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + modestus (see modest). Meaning "indecent, lewd, not modest in person or utterance" is from 1580s. Related: immodestly.
immodesty (n.) Look up immodesty at
1590s, "lewdness, indecency;" c. 1600, "arrogance," from Latin immodestia "intemperate conduct," from immodestus "unrestrained, excessive" (see immodest).
immolate (v.) Look up immolate at
1540s, "to sacrifice, kill as a victim," from Latin immolatus, past participle of immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + mola (salsa) "(sacrificial) meal," related to molere "to grind" (see mallet). Related: Immolated; immolating.
immolation (n.) Look up immolation at
early 15c., "a sacrificing, sacrificial killing" (originally especially with reference to Christ), from Old French immolacion "offering, sacrifice" (13c.) or directly from Latin immolationem (nominative immolatio) "a sacrificing," noun of action from past participle stem of immolare "to sacrifice" (see immolate).
immoral (adj.) Look up immoral at
1650s, "not consistent with moral law or standards, ethically wrong," from assimilated form of in- (1) "not" + moral (adj.). In legal language it tends to mean merely "contrary to common good or reasonable order." Related: Immorally.
immorality (n.) Look up immorality at
1560s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + morality.
immortal (adj.) Look up immortal at
late 14c., "deathless," from Latin immortalis "deathless, undying" (of gods), "imperishable, endless" (of fame, love, work, etc.), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + mortalis "mortal" (see mortal (adj.)). In reference to fame, literature, etc., "unceasing, destined to endure forever, never to be forgotten, lasting a long time," attested from early 15c. (also in classical Latin). As a noun, "an immortal being," from 1680s.
immortalise (v.) Look up immortalise at
chiefly British English spelling of immortalize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: immortalisation; immortalised; immortalising.
immortality (n.) Look up immortality at
mid-14c., "deathlessness," from Old French immortalité (13c.) and directly from Latin immortalitatem (nominative immortalitas) "deathlessness, endless life," also "imperishable fame," from immortalis "undying" (see immortal). Of fame, etc., "quality of being permanent," early 15c.
immortalization (n.) Look up immortalization at
c. 1600, noun of action or state from immortalize.
immortalize (v.) Look up immortalize at
1560s, "bestow lasting fame upon, exempt from oblivion," from immortal + -ize. Perhaps modeled on Middle French immortaliser. The literal sense "endow with immortality" is from 1630s in English. Related: Immortalized; immortalizing.
immortelle (n.) Look up immortelle at
"flower which preserves its shape and color after being dried" (also known as an everlasting), 1832, from French fem. of immortel "undying," from Latin immortalis (see immortal).
immovability (n.) Look up immovability at
late 14c., immoevablete, "quality of being unchanging," from immovable + -ity.
immovable (adj.) Look up immovable at
late 14c., literal and figurative, also sometimes in Middle English immevable, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + movable. Related: Immovably.
immune (adj.) Look up immune at
mid-15c., "free, exempt" (from taxes, tithes, sin, etc.), from Latin immunis "exempt from public service, untaxed; unburdened, not tributary," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + munis "performing services" (compare municipal), from PIE *moi-n-es-, suffixed form of root *mei- (1) "to change" (see mutable). Specific modern medical sense of "exempt (from a disease)," typically because of inoculation, is from 1881, a back-formation from immunity. Immune system attested by 1917.
immunity (n.) Look up immunity at
late 14c., "exemption from service or obligation," from Old French immunité "privilege; immunity from attack, inviolability" (14c.) and directly from Latin immunitatem (nominative immunitas) "exemption from performing public service or charge, privilege," from immunis "exempt, free," (see immune (adj.)). Medical sense of "protection from disease" is from 1879, from French or German.
immunization (n.) Look up immunization at
1892, noun of action from immunize.
immunize (v.) Look up immunize at
1889, in a translation of a German article, from immune + -ize. Related: Immunized; immunizing.
immunodeficiency (n.) Look up immunodeficiency at
1969, from comb. form of immune + deficiency.
immunology (n.) Look up immunology at
by 1906, a hybrid from immune + -ology. Related: Immunological; immunologist.
immure (v.) Look up immure at
1580s, "enclose with walls, shut up, confine," from Middle French emmurer and directly from Medieval Latin immurare, literally "to shut up within walls," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + Latin murus "wall" (see mural). Military sense of "fortify" is from 1590s. Related: Immured; immuring; immurement.
immutability (n.) Look up immutability at
1590s, from Latin immutabilitas "unchangeableness," from immutabilis "unchangeable" (see immutable).
Nought may endure but Mutability. [Shelley]
immutable (adj.) Look up immutable at
early 15c., "unchanging, unalterable," from Old French immutable (Modern French immuable), and directly from Latin immutabilis "unchangeable, unalterable," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + mutabilis "changeable," from mutare "to change" (see mutable). Related: Immutably.
imp (n.) Look up imp at
Old English impe, impa "young shoot, graft," from impian "to graft," probably an early Germanic borrowing from Vulgar Latin *imptus, from Late Latin impotus "implanted," from Greek emphytos, verbal adjective formed from emphyein "implant," from em- "in" + phyein "to plant" (see physic). Compare Swedish ymp, Danish ympe "graft."

The sense of the word has shifted from plants to people, via the meaning "child, offspring" (late 14c., now obsolete), from the notion of "newness." The current meaning "little devil" is attested from 1580s, from common pejorative phrases such as imp of Satan. The extension from this to "mischievous or pert child" (1640s) unconsciously turns the word back toward its Middle English sense.
Suche appereth as aungelles, but in very dede they be ymps of serpentes. [Wynkyn de Worde, "The Pilgrimage of Perfection," 1526]
impact (v.) Look up impact at
c. 1600, "press closely into something," from Latin impactus, past participle of impingere "to push into, dash against, thrust at" (see impinge). Original sense is preserved in impacted teeth. Sense of "strike forcefully against something" first recorded 1916. Figurative sense of "have a forceful effect on" is from 1935. Related: Impacting.
impact (n.) Look up impact at
1738, "collision, act of striking against, striking of one thing against another," from impact (v.). Figurative sense of "forceful impression" is from 1817 (Coleridge).
impacted (adj.) Look up impacted at
1680s, "pressed closely in," past-participle adjective from impact (v.). Of teeth from 1859.
impactful (adj.) Look up impactful at
1961, originally in advertising, from impact (n.) + -ful. Related: Impactfully; impactfulness.
impaction (n.) Look up impaction at
1739, from Latin impactionem (nominative impactio) "a striking against," noun of action from past participle stem of impingere "drive into, strike against" (see impinge).