Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
v. im·posed, im·pos·ing, im·pos·es
1. To establish or apply as compulsory; levy: impose a tax.
2. To bring about by authority or force; force to prevail: impose a peace settlement.
3. To obtrude or force (oneself, for example) on another or others.
4. Printing To arrange (type or plates) on an imposing stone.
5. To offer or circulate fraudulently; pass off: imposed a fraud on consumers.
To force oneself on or take unfair advantage of others: You are always imposing on their generosity.
[Middle English imposen, from Old French imposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin impōnere, to place upon : in-, on; see in-2 + pōnere, to place; see apo- in Indo-European roots.]
- boycott, embargo - A boycott is an organized popular protest, named for Captain Charles C. Boycott (1832-97), a land agent in Ireland to whom this was done in 1880; an embargo is usually imposed by a government.
- silentium - A place where silence is imposed (library, religious retreat).
- Pax Romana - An uneasy peace, as one imposed by a powerful state on a weaker or vanquished state.
- mumbletypeg - The children's game was first mumble-the-peg, descriptive of one of the penalties imposed on the loser.