Definition of imperative adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪmˈperətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈperətɪv//
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  1. 1[not usually before noun] (formal) very important and needing immediate attention or action synonym vital imperative (that…) It is absolutely imperative that we finish by next week. imperative (to do something) It is imperative to continue the treatment for at least two months. Language BankvitalSaying that something is necessary It is vital that journalists can verify the accuracy of their reports. Journalists play a vital/crucial role in educating the public. Public trust is a crucial issue for all news organizations. The ability to write well is essential for any journalist. The Internet has become an indispensable tool for reporters. In journalism, accuracy is paramount/…is of paramount importance. It is imperative that journalists maintain the highest possible standards of reporting.
  2. 2(formal) expressing authority an imperative tone
  3. 3 [only before noun] (grammar) expressing an order an imperative sentence
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (as a grammatical term): from late Latin imperativus (literally ‘specially ordered’, translating Greek prostatikē enklisis ‘imperative mood’), from imperare ‘to command’, from in- ‘towards’ + parare ‘make ready’.Extra examples The collapse of the wall made it imperative to keep the water out by some other means. We consider it absolutely imperative to start work immediately. It is imperative for your recovery to continue the treatment for at least two months.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: imperative

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