See also: imposé



Borrowed from Middle French imposer (to lay on, impose), taking the place of Latin imponere (to lay on, impose), from in (on, upon) + ponere (to put, place).



impose (third-person singular simple present imposes, present participle imposing, simple past and past participle imposed)

  1. (transitive) To establish or apply by authority.
    Congress imposed new tariffs.
    • 1975 March 17, Marian Christy, “Suzy Chaffee, A Liberated Beauty”, in Lebanon Daily News[1]:
      Suzy says "It's foolish for society to impose the restriction of one man to the married woman."
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, "[2]," New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012):
      Localities across New Jersey imposed curfews to prevent looting. In Monmouth, Ocean and other counties, people waited for hours for gasoline at the few stations that had electricity. Supermarket shelves were stripped bare.
  2. (intransitive) to be an inconvenience (on or upon)
    I don't wish to impose upon you.
  3. to enforce: compel to behave in a certain way
    Social relations impose courtesy
    • 2011 December 10, Arindam Rej, “Norwich 4 - 2 Newcastle”, in BBC Sport[3]:
      Norwich soon began imposing themselves on that patched-up defence with Holt having their best early chance, only to see it blocked by Simpson.
  4. To practice a trick or deception (on or upon).
  5. To lay on, as the hands, in the religious rites of confirmation and ordination.
  6. 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.

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Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit





  1. first-person singular present indicative of imposer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of imposer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of imposer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of imposer
  5. second-person singular imperative of imposer




  1. third-person singular past historic of imporre