verb (used with object), im·posed, im·pos·ing.
- to lay on or set as something to be borne, endured, obeyed, fulfilled, paid, etc.: to impose taxes.
- to put or set by or as if by authority: to impose one’s personal preference on others.
- to obtrude or thrust (oneself, one’s company, etc.) upon others.
- to pass or palm off fraudulently or deceptively: He imposed his pretentious books on the public.
- Printing. to lay (type pages, plates, etc.) in proper order on an imposing stone or the like and secure in a chase for printing.
- to lay on or inflict, as a penalty.
- Archaic. to put or place on something, or in a particular place.
- Obsolete. to lay on (the hands) ceremonially, as in confirmation or ordination.
verb (used without object), im·posed, im·pos·ing.
- to make an impression on the mind; impose one’s or its authority or influence.
- to obtrude oneself or one’s requirements, as upon others: Are you sure my request doesn’t impose?
- to presume, as upon patience or good nature.
- impose on/upon,
- to thrust oneself offensively upon others; intrude.
- to take unfair advantage of; misuse (influence, friendship, etc.).
- to defraud; cheat; deceive: A study recently showed the shocking number of confidence men that impose on the public.
verb (usually foll by on or upon)
- (tr) to establish as something to be obeyed or complied with; enforceto impose a tax on the people
- to force (oneself, one’s presence, etc) on another or others; obtrude
- (intr) to take advantage, as of a person or qualityto impose on someone’s kindness
- (tr) printing to arrange pages so that after printing and folding the pages will be in the correct order
- (tr) to pass off deceptively; foistto impose a hoax on someone
- (tr) (of a bishop or priest) to lay (the hands) on the head of a candidate for certain sacraments
v.late 14c., “to lay (a crime, etc.) to the account of,” from Old French imposer “put, place; impute, charge, accuse” (c.1300), from assimilated form of in- “into, in” (see in- (2)) + poser “put, place” (see pose (v.1)). Sense of “to lay on as a burden” first recorded 1580s. Related: Imposed; imposing.