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Definition of "imperative" []

  • Expressing a command or plea; peremptory: requests that grew more and more imperative. (adjective)
  • Having the power or authority to command or control. (adjective)
  • Grammar Of, relating to, or constituting the mood that expresses a command or request. (adjective)
  • Impossible to deter or evade; pressing: imperative needs. See Synonyms at urgent. (adjective)
  • A command; an order. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "imperative" in a sentence
  • "In traditional tragedy, these are prescriptives; the imperative is absolute -- must, not should."
  • "The long-term imperative is to slow and reverse the spiraling national debt."
  • "The short-term imperative is to create jobs and grow the economy."