impoundment (n.) Look up impoundment at
1660s; see impound + -ment.
impoverish (v.) Look up impoverish at
early 15c., empoverischen, from Old French empoveriss-, stem of empoverir, from em- + povre "poor" (see poor). Related: Impoverished; impoverishing.
impoverishment (n.) Look up impoverishment at
1550s; see impoverish + -ment.
impracticable (adj.) Look up impracticable at
"incapable of being done," 1670s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + practicable. Earlier in a sense of "impassable" (1650s).
impractical (adj.) Look up impractical at
1823, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + practical. Impracticable in the same sense dates from 1670s.
imprecate (v.) Look up imprecate at
1610s, probably a back-formation from imprecation. Related: Imprecated; imprecating; imprecatory (1580s).
imprecation (n.) Look up imprecation at
mid-15c., "a curse, cursing," from Latin imprecationem (nominative imprecatio), from past participle stem of imprecari "invoke, pray, call down upon," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, within" (see in- (2)) + precari "to pray, ask, beg, request" (see pray). "Current limited sense is characteristic of human nature." [Weekley]
imprecise (adj.) Look up imprecise at
1805, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + precise. Related: Imprecisely.
imprecision (n.) Look up imprecision at
1803, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + precision.
impregnable (adj.) Look up impregnable at
early 15c., imprenable "impossible to capture," from Middle French imprenable "invulnerable," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Old French prenable "assailable, vulnerable" (see pregnable). With intrusive -g- 16c., on model of deign, reign, etc. Related: Impregnability.
impregnate (v.) Look up impregnate at
c. 1600, from Late Latin impraegnatus "pregnant," past participle of impraegnare "to render pregnant," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + praegnare "make pregnant" (see pregnant). Earlier in same sense was impregn (1530s).
impregnation (n.) Look up impregnation at
late 14c., "making or becoming pregnant," from Old French impregnacion, from Late Latin impregnationem (nominative impregnatio), from impraegnare (see impregnate).
impresario (n.) Look up impresario at
1746, from Italian impresario "operatic manager," literally "undertaker (of a business)," from impresa "undertaking," fem. of impreso, past participle of imprendere "undertake," from Vulgar Latin imprendere, from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, onto" (see in- (2)) + prehendere "to grasp" (see prehensile).
imprescriptible (adj.) Look up imprescriptible at
"inalienable, not subject to prescription," 1560s, French imprescriptible (16c.) or a native formation from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + Latin praescriptus, past participle of praescribere "to write beforehand" (see prescribe). Usually with right. Alternative imprescribable is attested from 1887.
impress (v.) Look up impress at
late 14c., "have a strong effect on the mind or heart," from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere "press into or upon, stamp," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + premere "to press" (see press (v.1)). Literal sense of "to apply with pressure, make a permanent image in, indent, imprint" is from early 15c. in English. Sense of "to levy for military service" is from 1590s, a meaning more from press (v.2). Related: Impressed; impressing.
impress (n.) Look up impress at
"act of impressing," also "characteristic mark," 1590s, from impress (v.).
impressed (adj.) Look up impressed at
early 15c., "pressed or forced upon" (the mind), past participle adjective from impress (v.).
impression (n.) Look up impression at
late 14c., "mark produced by pressure," also "image produced in the mind or emotions," from Old French impression "print, stamp; a pressing on the mind," from Latin impressionem (nominative impressio) "onset, attack," figuratively "perception," literally "a pressing into," from imprimere (see impress). Meaning "act or process of indenting" is early 15c.; that of "printing of a number of copies" is from 1570s. Meaning "belief, vague notion" (as in under the impression) is from 1610s.
impressionable (adj.) Look up impressionable at
1836, formed on French model, from impression + -able. Earlier was impressible (1620s).
impressionism (n.) Look up impressionism at
1839 as a term in philosophy, from impression + -ism. Specifically with reference to the French art movement from 1882, from impressionist.
impressionist Look up impressionist at
as a style of painting aiming to represent overall impressions rather than exact details, first attested in English 1876 (adjective and noun), coined in French 1874 by French critic Louis Leroy ("école impressionniste") in a disparaging reference to Monet's sunset painting "Impression, Soleil Levant." Later extended to other arts.
impressionistic (adj.) Look up impressionistic at
1886; see impressionist + -ic.
impressive (adj.) Look up impressive at
1570s, "capable of being easily impressed," from impress + -ive. Meaning "capable of making an impression on the mind or senses" is from 1775. Related: Impressively; impressiveness.
impressment (n.) Look up impressment at
1796, "act of impressing into service," from impress (v.) + -ment.
imprimatur (n.) Look up imprimatur at
1640, Modern Latin, literally "let it be printed," the formula of a book licenser, third person singular present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere "to print" (see impress). Originally of state license to print books, later only of Roman Catholic Church.
imprint (v.) Look up imprint at
late 14c., from Old French empreinter, from empreinte, noun use of fem. past participle of eimpreindre "to impress, imprint," from Vulgar Latin *impremere, from Latin imprimere "to impress, imprint" (see impress). As a noun from mid-15c.
imprison (v.) Look up imprison at
c. 1300, from Old French emprisoner (12c.), from em- "in" (see in- (2)) + prison (see prison). Related: Imprisoned; imprisoning.
imprisonment (n.) Look up imprisonment at
late 14c., from Anglo-French emprisonement, Old French emprisonement (13c.), from emprisoner (see imprison).
improbability (n.) Look up improbability at
1590s, "fact or quality of being improbably;" see improbable + -ity. Meaning "an instance of something improbable" is from 1610s.
improbable (adj.) Look up improbable at
1590s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + probable, or else from Latin improbabilis. Related: Improbably.
imprompt (adj.) Look up imprompt at
(obsolete) 1759, from Latin impromptus "unready, hesitating," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + promptus "ready" (see prompt).
impromptu Look up impromptu at
1660s (adv.), 1764 (adj.), from French impromptu (1650s), from Latin in promptu "in readiness," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + promptu, ablative of promptus "readiness," from past participle of promere "to bring out," from pro- "before, forward, for" + emere "to obtain" (see exempt).
improper (adj.) Look up improper at
mid-15c., "not true," from French impropre (14c.), from Latin improprius, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + proprius (see proper). Meaning "not suited, unfit" is from 1560s; that of "not in accordance with good manners, modesty, decency" is from 1739. Related: Improperly (late 14c.).
impropriety (n.) Look up impropriety at
1610s, "quality or fact of being improper," from French impropriété (16c.), from Latin improprietas, from improprius (see improper). As "improper thing," 1670s.
improv (n.) Look up improv at
1970 as colloquial shortening for improvisation. The New York City comedy club, founded in 1963, was, in full, The Improvisation.
improve (v.) Look up improve at
late 15c., "to use to one's profit, to increase (income)," from Anglo-French emprouwer "to turn to profit" (late 13c.), from Old French en-, causative prefix, + prou "profit," from Latin prode "advantageous" (see proud). Spelling with -v- was rare before 17c. Meaning "to raise to a better quality or condition" first recorded 1610s. Phrase improve the occasion retains the etymological sense. Meaning "to turn land to profit" (by clearing it, erecting buildings, etc.) was in Anglo-French (13c.) and was retained in the American colonies.
improvement (n.) Look up improvement at
mid-15c., enprowment "management of something for profit," from Anglo-French emprowement, from emprouwer "turn to profit" (see improve). Meaning "betterment; amelioration" is from 1640s. Meaning "buildings, etc. on a piece of property" is from 1773. Related: Improvements.
improvidence (n.) Look up improvidence at
"lack of foresight, rashness," mid-15c., from Latin improvidentia, from assimilated form of in- "not" (see in- (1)) + providentia (see providence).
improvident (adj.) Look up improvident at
1510s, from im- "not" + provident. It retains a stronger connection with the "provide" aspect of Latin providere. Related: Improvidently.
improvisation (n.) Look up improvisation at
mid-15c., "unforeseen happening;" 1786 as "act of improvising musically," from French improvisation, from improviser "compose or say extemporaneously," from Italian improvvisare, from improvviso "unforeseen, unprepared," from Latin improvisus "not foreseen, unforeseen, unexpected," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + provisus "foreseen," also "provided," past participle of providere "foresee, provide" (see provide).
improvisational (adj.) Look up improvisational at
1879; see improvisation + -al (1).
improvise (v.) Look up improvise at
1826, back-formation from improvisation, or else from French improviser (17c.), from Italian improvisare "to sing or speak extempore," from improviso, from Latin improvisus "unforeseen, unexpected" (see improvisation). Or possibly a back-formation from improvisation. Related: Improvised; improvising.
improvision (n.) Look up improvision at
"want of forethought," 1640s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + provision.
imprudence (n.) Look up imprudence at
early 15c., "quality of rashness or heedlessness; imprudent act," from Latin imprudentia "lack of foresight, inconsiderateness, ignorance, inadvertence," noun of quality from imprudens (see imprudent).
imprudent (adj.) Look up imprudent at
late 14c., from Latin imprudentem (nominative imprudens) "not foreseeing, unaware, inconsiderate, heedless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + prudens, contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to provide," literally "to see before (one)" (see provide). Related: Imprudently.
impudence (n.) Look up impudence at
late 14c., from Latin impudentia "shamelessness," noun of quality from impudens; see impudent.
impudent (adj.) Look up impudent at
late 14c., from Latin impudentem (nominative impudens) "without shame, shameless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + pudens "ashamed, modest," present participle of pudere "to cause shame" (see pudendum). Related: Impudently.
impugn (v.) Look up impugn at
"attack by argument," late 14c., from Old French impugner, from Latin impugnare "to assault, to attack," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pugnare "to fight" (see pugnacious). Related: Impugned; impugning.
impulse (n.) Look up impulse at
early 15c., "an act of impelling, a thrust, push," from Latin impulsus "a push against, pressure, shock," also "incitement, instigation, impulse," past participle of impellere (see impel). Meaning "stimulus in the mind arising from some state or feeling" first recorded 1640s.
impulsion (n.) Look up impulsion at
early 15c., "driving, pushing, thrusting," from Old French impulsion (early 14c.), from Latin impulsionem (nominative impulsio) "external pressure," figuratively "incitement, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of impellere (see impel).