Definition of importunate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpɔːtjʊnət/


Persistent, especially to the point of annoyance: 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.
persistent, insistent, tenacious, persevering, dogged, unremitting, unrelenting, tireless, indefatigable;
stubborn, intransigent, obstinate, obdurate;
pressing, urgent, demanding, entreating, nagging, exacting, clamorous, clamant;
aggressive, high-pressure
informal pushy



Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpɔːtjʊnətli/
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: /ˌɪmpɔːˈtjuːnɪti/
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 harbours (from portus 'harbour'); compare with opportune.

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Line breaks: im|por¦tun|ate

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