from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To inspire or influence thoroughly; pervade: work imbued with the revolutionary spirit. See Synonyms at charge.
  • transitive v. To permeate or saturate.
  • transitive v. To stain or dye deeply.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. : To wet or stain an object completely with some physical quality.
  • v. In general, to act in a way which results in an object becoming completely permeated or impregnated by some quality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To tinge deeply; to dye; to cause to absorb.
  • transitive v. To tincture deply; to cause to become impressed or penetrated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To impregnate by steeping or soaking: used especially with reference to dyes.
  • To tincture deeply; cause to become impregnated or penetrated: as, to imbue the minds of youth with good principles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. suffuse with color
  • v. spread or diffuse through
  • v. fill, soak, or imbue totally


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English enbuen, imbeuen, from Latin imbuere, to moisten, stain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin imbuō ("wet, moisten").


  • The animal terms imbue the loved one with the characteristics humans ascribe to each animal.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VII No 1

  • Since when do mysterious rifts "imbue" magical abilities?

    HH Com 256 (253)

  • Sitting on the pitch and abandoning your teammates is not the action of a winner, that's not how you 'imbue' a winning culture.

  • Her tone is more silver than gold, but she knows how to subtly imbue a phrase with feeling, when to color the violin sound to reflect changes in the character of a piece, and when to simply let the music speak for itself.

    Busy Violinist Seeks Balance

  • But if Montgomerie can imbue his 12 players with the focused serenity that settled over him whenever he pulled out a club on Europe's behalf, Celtic Manor could become the scene of the triumph that seals his legend.

    Cometh the Ryder Cup moment, cometh captain Colin Montgomerie

  • "People had become terribly troubled," he said, trying hard to imbue the word "troubled" with sympathy.

    Rewind radio: The Brown Years; Desert Island Discs; Craig Brown's Lost Diaries

  • Like the great universities, Oaksterdam seeks to imbue its students with a vision of the world and the zeal to go forth and change it.


  • Smith describes Mapplethorpe's art thus: "Robert took areas of dark human consent and made them into art... sought to elevate aspects of male experience, to imbue homosexuality with mysticism."

    Holly Cara Price: Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe: Brainiac Amours in Just Kids

  • But all I can hope is that my writing is strong enough to imbue each new set of characters with enough specialness to win over new and established readers, and to make some of those readers care about the overarching plot too.

    2009 May «

  • Adherence to theories of how our world and various systems in it work may imbue the worldscape with a sense of authenticity.

    Notes on Worldscape


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  • Cf. instill

    September 26, 2010