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

  • adjective Necessary or urgent: synonym: urgent.
  • adjective Expressing a command or plea; peremptory.
  • adjective Grammar Of, relating to, or constituting the mood that expresses a command or request.
  • noun A rule, principle, or need that requires or compels certain action.
  • noun A command; an order.
  • noun The imperative mood.
  • noun A verb form of the imperative mood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Expressing command; containing positive command; peremptory; absolute: as, imperative orders.
  • Not to be avoided or evaded; that must be attended to or performed; obligatory; binding: as, an imperative duty or necessity.
  • noun In grammar, a mode or verbal form which expresses command, entreaty, advice, or exhortation.
  • noun In philosophy, a deliverance of conscience; a monition of the moral sense.

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

  • adjective Expressive of command; containing positive command; authoritatively or absolutely directive; commanding; authoritative.
  • adjective Not to be avoided or evaded; obligatory; binding; compulsory.
  • adjective (Gram.) Expressive of commund, entreaty, advice, or exhortation.
  • noun (Gram.) The imperative mood; also, a verb in the imperative mood.

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

  • noun uncountable, grammar The grammatical mood expressing an order (see jussive). In English, the imperative form of a verb is the same as that of the bare infinitive.
  • noun countable, grammar A verb in imperative mood.
  • noun countable An essential action, a must: something which is imperative.
  • adjective essential
  • adjective computing theory Having a semantics that incorporates mutable variables.
  • adjective grammar of, or relating to the imperative mood

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

  • adjective relating to verbs in the imperative mood
  • noun some duty that is essential and urgent
  • noun a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior
  • adjective requiring attention or action


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

[Middle English imperatif, relating to the imperative mood, from Old French, from Late Latin imperātīvus, from Latin imperātus, past participle of imperāre, to command; see emperor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin imperātīvus.


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  • To maintain a very good health, it is imperative to avoid smoking and drinking.

    February 15, 2013