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

  • adj. Putting an end to all debate or action: a peremptory decree.
  • adj. Not allowing contradiction or refusal; imperative: The officer issued peremptory commands.
  • adj. Having the nature of or expressing a command; urgent: The teacher spoke in a peremptory tone.
  • adj. Offensively self-assured; dictatorial: a swaggering, peremptory manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Precluding debate or expostulation; not admitting of question or appeal; positive; absolute; decisive; conclusive; final.
  • adj. Positive in opinion or judgment; decided; dictatorial; dogmatical.
  • adj. Firmly determined; unawed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That precludes or does not admit of debate, question, or expostulation; hence, express; authoritative; positive; absolute: as, a, peremptory command or call.
  • In law, final; determinate; absolute and unconditional: as, a peremptory action or exception.
  • Fully resolved; resolute; determined; positive in opinion or judgment; dogmatic: said of persons.
  • Positively settled upon; that positively must be done, etc.
  • Synonyms and Authoritative, Dogmatic, etc. See magisterial.
  • Express, absolute, imperative, categorical.
  • n. A peremptory order.
  • Unquestionably; positively.

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

  • adj. not allowing contradiction or refusal
  • adj. putting an end to all debate or action
  • adj. offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power


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

Latin peremptōrius, from peremptus, past participle of perimere, to take away : per-, per- + emere, to obtain; see em- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman peremptorie, parentorie et al. (Modern French péremptoire), and its source, Latin peremptōrius ("deadly; decisive"), from perimō.



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  • From p. 15 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: "Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart."

    September 29, 2012

  • November 2, 2007