What does impose mean?

Definitions for impose

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enforce, imposeverb

    compel to behave in a certain way

    "Social relations impose courtesy"

  2. inflict, bring down, visit, imposeverb

    impose something unpleasant

    "The principal visited his rage on the students"

  3. levy, imposeverb

    impose and collect

    "levy a fine"


  1. imposeverb

    to establish or apply by authority

    Congress imposed new tariffs.

  2. imposeverb

    to be an inconvenience

    I don't wish to impose upon you.

  3. imposeverb

    to enforce: compel to behave in a certain way

    Social relations impose courtesy

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Imposenoun

    Command; injunction. Not in use.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    According to your ladyship's impose,
    I am thus early come. William Shakespeare.

  2. To IMPOSEverb

    Etymology: imposer, French; impositum, Latin.

    If a son, sent by his father, do fall into a lewd action, the imputation, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father. William Shakespeare.

    It shall not be lawful to impose toll upon them. Ezra vii.

    To tyrants others have their country sold,
    Imposing foreign lords for foreign gold. John Dryden, Æn.

    On impious realms and barb'rous kings impose
    Thy plagues, and curse them with such ills as those. Alexander Pope.

    What good or evil is there under the sun, what action correspondent or repugnant unto the law which God hath imposed upon his creatures, but in or upon it God doth work, according to the law which himself hath eternally purposed to keep? Richard Hooker.

    There was a thorough way made by the sword for the imposing of the laws upon them. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Thou on the deep imposest nobler laws,
    And by that justice hast remov'd the cause. Edmund Waller.

    Christianity hath hardly imposed any other laws upon us, but what are enacted in our natures, or are agreeable to the prime and fundamental laws of it. John Tillotson.

    Impose but your commands,
    This hour shall bring you twenty thousand hands. Dryden.

    It was neither imposed on me, nor so much as the subject given me by any man. Dryden.

    This cannot be allowed, except we impute that unto the first cause which we impose not on the second; or what we deny unto nature, we impute unto nativity itself. Brown.

    Our poet thinks not fit
    T' impose upon you what he writes for wit. Dryden.

    Physicians and philosophers have suffered themselves to be so far imposed upon as to publish chymical experiments, which they never tried. Boyle.

    He that thinks the name centaur stands for some real being, imposes on himself, and mistakes words for things. John Locke.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Imposeverb

    to lay on; to set or place; to put; to deposit

  2. Imposeverb

    to lay as a charge, burden, tax, duty, obligation, command, penalty, etc.; to enjoin; to levy; to inflict; as, to impose a toll or tribute

  3. Imposeverb

    to lay on, as the hands, in the religious rites of confirmation and ordination

  4. Imposeverb

    to arrange in proper order on a table of stone or metal and lock up in a chase for printing; -- said of columns or pages of type, forms, etc

  5. Imposeverb

    to practice trick or deception

  6. Imposenoun

    a command; injunction

  7. Etymology: [F. imposer; pref. im- in + poser to place. See Pose, v. t.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Impose

    im-pōz′, v.t. to place upon: to lay on: to enjoin or command: to put over by authority or force: to obtrude unfairly: to pass off: (print.) to arrange or place in a chase, as pages of type.—v.i. (with upon) to mislead or deceive: act with constraining effect.—n. (Shak.) command, injunction.—adjs. Impos′able, capable of being imposed or laid on; Impos′ing, commanding: adapted to impress forcibly.—adv. Impos′ingly.—ns. Impos′ingness; Imposi′tion, a laying on: laying on of hands in ordination: a tax, a burden: a deception. [Fr. imposer—L. in, on, ponĕre, to place.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'impose' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4733

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'impose' in Verbs Frequency: #330

How to pronounce impose?

How to say impose in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of impose in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of impose in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of impose in a Sentence

  1. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying:

    Most countries appreciate and support China's efforts to fight against the novel coronavirus, and we understand and respect them when they adopt or enhance quarantine measures at border entry. But in the meantime, some countries, the US in particular, have inappropriately overreacted, which certainly runs counter to WHO advice, the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying government hasn't provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from The US government consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers. All The US government has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example.

  2. Gustavo Madero:

    The pathway has been opened to use this on drugs now, not just migrants, so that Mexico can be put in a bind as soon as Donald Trump wants to impose other conditions, these are the arguments he's been waiting for.

  3. Patrick Pouyanne:

    We don't need a law to impose it on us because it will become a slippery slope, i am convinced that for some of my colleagues, their headquarters will leave France if laws like that are passed.

  4. Tom Andrews:

    The people of Myanmar are not calling for anything that they, themselves, are unwilling to do, but the fact remains that to be truly effective, the people of Myanmar need countries to join them and impose sanctions on MOGE.

  5. Hillary Clinton:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, first of all, under Dodd-Frank, that is what will happen because we now have stress tests and I'm going to impose a risk fee on the big bank if they engage in risky behavior but they have to know, their shareholders have to know that yes, they will fail and if they're too big to fail. Then under my plan and others that have been proposed, they may have to be broken up.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for impose

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"impose." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/impose>.

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    the region of the body of a vertebrate between the thorax and the pelvis
    • A. vehicle
    • B. abdomen
    • C. nuisance
    • D. empire

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