Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To invoke evil upon; curse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pray for; express a strong desire for; invoke: in a good sense.
  • Specifically To call down by prayer, as some evil upon an enemy, or in anger; invoke or express a malevolent desire for, as something evil.
  • To invoke a curse or evil upon; curse.

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

  • transitive verb To call down by prayer, as something hurtful or calamitous.
  • transitive verb To invoke evil upon; to curse; to swear at.

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

  • verb transitive To call down by prayer, as something hurtful or calamitous.
  • verb transitive To invoke evil upon; to curse; to swear at.

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

  • verb wish harm upon; invoke evil upon
  • verb utter obscenities or profanities

Etymologies

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

[Latin imprecāri, imprecāt- : in-, towards; see in– + precārī, to pray, ask; see prek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin imprecari ("to invoke (good or evil) upon, pray to, call upon"), from in ("upon") + precari ("to pray").

Examples

  • Oh, earth! how often did I imprecate curses on the cause of my being!

    Chapter 16

  • But when the next national storm confronts America, the automatic impulse to imprecate the nation combined with the widespread sense of ultimate entitlement will make it impossible for the country to act with sufficient strength to confront its troubles.

    Torture as Literature

  • Sure enough, "Fuck You" is one of this year's most uplifting releases, with a chorus that makes you want to punch the air and imprecate cheerfully at total strangers.

    Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer – review

  • But when the next national storm confronts America, the automatic impulse to imprecate the nation combined with the widespread sense of ultimate entitlement will make it impossible for the country to act with sufficient strength to confront its troubles.

    Ashley Rindsberg: Torture as Literature

  • But I threw myself at her feet, and took hold of her reluctant hand, and began to imprecate, avow, to promise — But thus the passionate beauty, interrupting me, went on:

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • O thou guileful betrayer! there is a just God, whom thou invokest: yet the thunderbolt descends not; and thou livest to imprecate and deceive!

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • Oh earth! how often did I imprecate curses on the cause of my being!

    Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus

  • Oh earth! how often did I imprecate curses on the cause of my being!

    Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus

  • Oh earth! how often did I imprecate curses on the cause of my being!

    Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus

  • At other times he would imprecate maledictions upon his head, and curse him as her destroyer.

    The Vampyre

Comments

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  • "His eyes closed tightly, Levi waited for the bolt of fire from on high to strike him down. This did not happen, and, whithout opening his eyes, Levi continued to shout insults and imprecations at the heavens." (The Master and Margarita -- Bulkagov)

    December 17, 2006