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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.]

im·pos′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  • 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.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.imposed - set forth authoritatively as obligatory; "the imposed taxation"; "rules imposed by society"
obligatory - morally or legally constraining or binding; "attendance is obligatory"; "an obligatory contribution"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
Bingley, if he HAD been imposed on, would have much to suffer when the affair became public.
Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
In 1794 or '95, a treaty with Great Britain removed the restrictions imposed upon the trade with the colonies, and opened a direct commercial intercourse between Canada and the United States.
Upon opening my eyes then, and coming out of my own pleasant and self-created darkness into the imposed and coarse outer gloom of the unilluminated twelve-o'clock-at-night, I experienced a disagreeable revulsion.
The FIRST relates to the sum or quantity of power which it vests in the government, including the restraints imposed on the States.
I really have a regard for him, he is so easily imposed upon!
Here the bystanders imposed silence upon the two chatterers.
for they had placed themselves beyond the pale of humanity, by crossing the limits imposed by the Creator on his earthly creatures.
We have mentioned these two, as examples only of the task which may be imposed on readers of the lowest class.
ISLAMABAD -- The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) has imposed over Rs 10.29 million fine on 58,622 traffic rule violations during the current calendar year, said a senior official of ITP.
2, 1987, death penalty shall not be imposed, unless for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it.