- absolutely necessary or required; unavoidable: It is imperative that we leave.
- of the nature of or expressing a command; commanding.
- Grammar. noting or pertaining to the mood of the verb used in commands, requests, etc., as in Listen! Go!Compare indicative(def 2), subjunctive(def 1).
- a command.
- something that demands attention or action; an unavoidable obligation or requirement; necessity: It is an imperative that we help defend friendly nations.
- the imperative mood.
- a verb in this mood.
- an obligatory statement, principle, or the like.
- extremely urgent or important; essential
- peremptory or authoritativean imperative tone of voice
- Also: imperatival (ɪmˌpɛrəˈtaɪvəl) grammar denoting a mood of verbs used in giving orders, making requests, etc. In English the verb root without any inflections is the usual form, as for example leave in Leave me alone
- something that is urgent or essential
- an order or command
- the imperative mood
- a verb in this mood
1520s, from Late Latin imperativus “pertaining to a command,” from imperatus “commanded,” past participle of imperare “to command, to requisition,” from assimilated form of in- “into, in” (see in- (2)) + parare “prepare” (see pare).
mid-15c., in grammar; later “something imperative” (c.1600), from Old French imperatif and directly from Late Latin imperativus (see imperative (adj.)).
A grammatical category describing verbs that command or request: “Leave town by tonight”; “Please hand me the spoon.”