What does imperative mean?

Definitions for imperative
ɪmˈpɛr ə tɪvim·per·a·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word imperative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. imperative mood, imperative, jussive mood, imperative formnoun

    a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior

  2. imperativeadjective

    some duty that is essential and urgent

  3. imperativeadjective

    requiring attention or action

    "as nuclear weapons proliferate, preventing war becomes imperative"; "requests that grew more and more imperative"

  4. imperativeadjective

    relating to verbs in the imperative mood


  1. imperativenoun

    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.

    The verbs in sentences like "Do it!" and "Say what you like!" are in the imperative.

  2. imperativenoun

    A verb in imperative mood.

  3. imperativenoun

    An essential action, a must: something which is imperative.

    Visiting Berlin is an imperative.

  4. imperativeadjective


    It is imperative that you come here right now.

  5. imperativeadjective

    Having a semantics that incorporates mutable variables.

  6. Etymology: From imperativus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Imperativeadjective

    Commanding; expressive of command.

    Etymology: imperatif, Fr. imperativus, Latin.

    The verb is formed in a different manner, to signify the intention of commanding, forbidding, allowing, disallowing, intreating; which likewise, from the principal use of it, is called the imperative mood. John Clarke, Latin Grammar.


  1. imperative

    Imperative refers to a command, instruction, or order, something that is crucial or of utmost importance and must be done or followed. In grammar, it also refers to a type of sentence that gives a directive or expresses a command.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Imperativeadjective

    expressive of command; containing positive command; authoritatively or absolutely directive; commanding; authoritative; as, imperative orders

  2. Imperativeadjective

    not to be avoided or evaded; obligatory; binding; compulsory; as, an imperative duty or order

  3. Imperativeadjective

    expressive of commund, entreaty, advice, or exhortation; as, the imperative mood

  4. Imperativenoun

    the imperative mood; also, a verb in the imperative mood

  5. Etymology: [L. imperativus, fr. imperare to command; pref. im- in + parare to make ready, prepare: cf. F. impratif. See Perade, and cf. Empire.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Imperative

    im-per′a-tiv, adj. expressive of command: authoritative: peremptory: obligatory.—adv. Imper′atively.—Imperative mood, the form of a verb expressing command or advice; Categorical imperative (see under Category). [L. imperativusimperāre, to command—in, in, parāre, to prepare.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce imperative?

How to say imperative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of imperative in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of imperative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of imperative in a Sentence

  1. Adam Selipsky:

    It's absolutely imperative that we continue to understand [ customers' ] evolving needs, which are changing very quickly, and we're going to evolve right along with them.

  2. Thomas Coex/Pool via REUTERSCastex:

    Working from home is imperative whenever possible.

  3. Christopher Sherwood:

    We have consistently reinforced to coalition members the imperative of target analysis and precise application of weapons in order to identify and avoid structures and areas that, if struck, could result in civilian casualties.

  4. White House:

    The Framers did not envision the use of the presidential pardon power to encourage criminal acts at the President's direction, as the Committee continues its investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment, it is imperative that we are able to obtain information about ongoing presidential misconduct and abuses of power.

  5. John Kerry:

    I'm not going to discuss what I said or didn't say, but suffice it to say I made it crystal clear how serious this was, it was imperative to get it solved ... and within hours we had an agreement.

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Translations for imperative

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"imperative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/imperative>.

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