Etymology
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imperative (adj.)

1520s, in grammar, "expressing command," used of the form of a verb which expresses command, entreaty, advice, or exhortation, from Late Latin imperativus "pertaining to a command," from imperat-, past participle stem of imperare "to command, requisition," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + parare "to arrange, prepare, adorn" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").

imperative (n.)

mid-15c., in grammar; later "something imperative" (c. 1600), from Old French imperatif in the grammatical sense (13c.) and directly from Late Latin imperativus (see imperative (adj.)). In philosophy from 1796.

updated on March 23, 2021

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Definitions of imperative from WordNet
1
imperative (n.)
a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior;
Synonyms: imperative mood / jussive mood / imperative form
imperative (n.)
some duty that is essential and urgent;
2
imperative (adj.)
requiring attention or action;
requests that grew more and more imperative
as nuclear weapons proliferate, preventing war becomes imperative
imperative (adj.)
relating to verbs in the imperative mood;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.