Definition of importunate in English:

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Pronunciation: /imˈpôrCHənət/


Persistent, especially to the point of annoyance or intrusion: importunate creditors
More example sentences
  • And although the gulling of Benedick is wittily done - with an importunate boy messenger demanding a tip from the supposedly hidden protagonist - that of Beatrice lapses into farce as she is drenched by a garden hose.
  • It is a sweet and pretty countenance that can become contorted into a Munchian shriek, a child's importunate obstinacy, a beleaguered housewife's exasperation, a hectoring soldier's grimace, or anything else.
  • The larger goal is to encourage a strategy for thinking broadly about contentious issues so that the church maintains its intellectual and theological integrity and is not simply captivated by insistent or importunate voices.



Pronunciation: /imˈpôrCH(ə)nətlē/
Pronunciation: /ˌimpôrˈt(y)o͞onətlē/
Example sentences
  • Year by year the government grows more importunately parental, the citizenry more obediently childish.
  • He was constantly being invited to the house, and then pressed importunately by all three to stay the night there.
  • Still, the wretched creatures stand there, importunately demanding notice.


Pronunciation: /ˌimpôrˈt(y)o͞onədē/
noun (plural importunities)
Example sentences
  • Unfortunately they fail to realize that love is something that cannot be asked for with importunity, nor will it come overnight.
  • Thus Laertes warns Ophelia that she must ‘weigh what loss your honour may sustain / If with too credent ear you list his [Hamlet's] songs, / Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open / To his unmaster'd importunity.’
  • Only let us exercise them: and though often turned away unanswered, let us remember the influence of importunity upon the unjust judge, and act accordingly.


Early 16th century: from Latin importunus 'inconvenient, unseasonable', based on Portunus, the name of the god who protected harbors (from portus 'harbor'); compare with opportune.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: im·por·tu·nate

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