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

  • intransitive verb To make an earnest request of (someone), especially insistently or repeatedly.
  • intransitive verb To ask for (something) urgently or repeatedly.
  • intransitive verb To annoy; vex.
  • intransitive verb To plead or urge irksomely, often persistently.
  • adjective Importunate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Unseasonable; inopportune; untimely.
  • Importunate.
  • noun An importunate person; one offensively persistent.
  • To press or harass with solicitation; ply or beset with unremitting petitions or demands; crave or require persistently.
  • To crave or require persistently; beg for urgently.
  • To annoy; irritate; molest.
  • [A false use, by confusion with import.] To import; signify; mean.
  • Synonyms Request, Beg, Tease (see ask); appeal to, plead with, beset, urge, plague, worry, press, dun.
  • To make requests or demands urgently and persistently.

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

  • transitive verb To request or solicit, with urgency; to press with frequent, unreasonable, or troublesome application or pertinacity; hence, to tease; to irritate; to worry.
  • transitive verb obsolete To import; to signify.
  • adjective obsolete Inopportune; unseasonable.
  • adjective obsolete Troublesome; vexatious; persistent; urgent; hence, vexatious on account of untimely urgency or pertinacious solicitation.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To require; to demand.

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

  • verb To bother, trouble, irritate.
  • verb To harass with persistent requests.
  • verb To approach to offer one's services as a prostitute, or otherwise make improper proposals.
  • adjective obsolete Grievous, severe, exacting.
  • adjective obsolete inopportune; unseasonable
  • adjective obsolete troublesome; vexatious; persistent

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

  • verb beg persistently and urgently


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

[French importuner, from Old French importun, inopportune, from Latin importūnus : in-, not; see in– + portus, port, refuge; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French importuner, from Medieval Latin importunari ("to make oneself troublesome"), from Latin importunus ("unfit, troublesome"), originally "having no harbor"



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  • Some great inquisitors in nature say,

    Royal and generous forms sweetly display

    Much of the heavenly virtue, as proceeding

    From a pure essence and elected breeding:

    Howe'er, truth for him thus nuch doth importune,

    His form and value both deserv'd his fortune;

    For 'tis a question not decided yet,

    Whether his mind or fortune were more great.

    - John Webster, 'A Monumental Column', 1613.

    August 2, 2009

  • After weeks of importuning the star to meet for a five-minute interview, the journalist finally got what she wanted.

    October 29, 2017