Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mischievous child.
  • noun A small demon.
  • noun Obsolete A graft.
  • transitive verb To graft (new feathers) onto the wing of a trained falcon or hawk to repair damage or increase flying capacity.
  • transitive verb To furnish with wings.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An abbreviation of imperative;
  • noun of imperfect (tense);
  • noun of imperial;
  • noun of impersonal;
  • noun of the Latin imprimatur, let it be printed.
  • noun An abbreviation of the Latin Imperator, emperor;
  • noun of Imperatrix, empress.
  • noun The length of twisted hair in a fishing-line.
  • noun A scion; shoot; graft; bud; slip.
  • noun A son; offspring; progeny.
  • noun A young or small devil.
  • noun A mischievous or pert child.
  • noun A spirit other than a devil.
  • noun Something added or united to another thing to repair or lengthen it out; particularly, a feather inserted in a broken wing of a bird. See imp, v. t., 2.
  • To graft.
  • To extend or enlarge by something inserted or added; extend or mend, as (in falconry) a broken or deficient wing by the insertion of a feather; qualify for flight or use; strengthen.
  • To rob.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To graft; to insert as a scion.
  • transitive verb (Falconry), figurative, Archaic, figurative, Archaic, Archaic To graft with new feathers, as a wing; to splice a broken feather.
  • noun obsolete A shoot; a scion; a bud; a slip; a graft.
  • noun obsolete An offspring; progeny; child; scion.
  • noun A young or inferior devil; a little, malignant spirit; a puny demon; a contemptible evil worker.
  • noun Obs. or Prov. Eng. Something added to, or united with, another, to lengthen it out or repair it, -- as, an addition to a beehive; a feather inserted in a broken wing of a bird; a length of twisted hair in a fishing line.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete To plant or engraft.
  • verb falconry To engraft feathers into a bird's wing.
  • verb To eke out, strengthen, enlarge.

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

  • noun one who is playfully mischievous
  • noun (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous

Etymologies

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

[Middle English impe, scion, sprig, offspring, from Old English impa, young shoot, from impian, to graft, ultimately from Medieval Latin impotus, graft, from Greek emphutos, grafted, from emphuein, to implant : en-, in; see en– + phuein, to make grow; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English impian, apparently ultimately from a Latin source. Cognate with German impfen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English impa ("graft"). Cognate with Danish ympe, German Impf, Swedish ymp.

Examples

Comments

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  • in the sense of a graft

    January 27, 2007

  • no mention of Poe's Imp of the Perverse?

    "I have said thus much, that in some measure I may your question -- that I may explain to you why I am here -- that I may assign to you something that shall have at least the faint aspect of a cause for my wearing these fetters, and for my tenanting this cell of the condemned. Had I not been thus prolix, you might either have misunderstood me altogether, or, with the rabble, have fancied me mad. As it is, you will easily perceive that I am one of the many uncounted victims of the Imp of the Perverse." First published in the 1845 July issue of Graham's Lady's And Gentleman's Magazine, and republished, in slightly revised form, in various of Poe's other collections in later years.

    November 16, 2009

  • In falconry, to graft new feathers onto the wing of a trained falcon or hawk to repair damage or to increase flying capacity.

    To furnish with wings.

    February 13, 2010

  • Fascinating definition, hh!

    February 13, 2010

  • I'm off to imp my ride now.

    February 13, 2010