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

  • adj. Expressing a command or plea; peremptory: requests that grew more and more imperative.
  • adj. Having the power or authority to command or control.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or constituting the mood that expresses a command or request.
  • adj. Impossible to deter or evade; pressing: imperative needs. See Synonyms at urgent.
  • n. A command; an order.
  • n. An obligation; a duty: social imperatives.
  • n. A rule, principle, or instinct that compels a certain behavior: a people driven to aggression by territorial imperatives.
  • n. Grammar The imperative mood.
  • n. Grammar A verb form of the imperative mood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A verb in imperative mood.
  • n. An essential action, a must: something which is imperative.
  • adj. essential
  • adj. Having a semantics that incorporates mutable variables.
  • adj. of, or relating to the imperative mood

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. In grammar, a mode or verbal form which expresses command, entreaty, advice, or exhortation.
  • n. In philosophy, a deliverance of conscience; a monition of the moral sense.

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

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


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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin imperātīvus. (Wiktionary)



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

    February 15, 2013