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.


  1. impose

    To impose is to forcibly place or inflict something upon others, such as rules, taxes, beliefs or punishments. It can also refer to exerting oneself in a dominant or authoritarian manner or taking advantage of someone by expecting them to do something against their will.

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 Minister Sergei Lavrov:

    Now public figures in Western countries say there is a need to impose sanctions that will destroy the economy and cause public protests.

  2. Jenna Ellis:

    It doesn't yet impose restrictions on churches or First Amendment privileges, but Texas LGBTQ voters're heading there. And it's setting the stage for polyamory, bestiality and eventually pedophilia.

  3. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:

    The United States, although it's less than ideal, could unilaterally re-impose more crushing and additional sanctions.

  4. Margaret Johnson:

    SB 25 is a not-so-subtle way of giving medical personnel the opportunity to impose the religious beliefs on pregnant women by withholding information about the condition of their fetus and depriving them of making an informed decision about continuing with their pregnancy.

  5. Tian Hao:

    China might still impose measures on U.S. soybeans given the current development of Sino-U.S. trade situation. If the deal was done in Geneva, the cargoes might be traded in the international market instead of being brought to China to crush.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for impose

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for impose »


Find a translation for the impose definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"impose." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/impose>.

Discuss these impose definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for impose? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    find repugnant
    A cleave
    B abase
    C abhor
    D emanate

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for impose: