Definition of peremptory in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈrɛm(p)t(ə)ri/


1Insisting on immediate attention or obedience, especially in a brusquely imperious way: ‘Just do it!’ came the peremptory reply
More example sentences
  • Whereas the latter had tended to deal with divisions through a process of avoidance or such extended discussion that unity was effected through boring dissidents into submission, his style was brusque and peremptory.
  • So fierce is his gaze, so peremptory his order, that even the shoppers forget the cold for a moment and stare in undisguised curiosity at the man with the red hackle.
  • The next day his peremptory order to the authorities to send the irregulars home was obeyed with alacrity, and this should have been the end of the matter.
brusque, imperious, high-handed, brisk, abrupt, summary, commanding, authoritative, overbearing, dogmatic, autocratic, dictatorial, bossy, domineering, arbitrary, arrogant, overweening, lordly, tyrannical, despotic, imperial, magisterial, authoritarian;
emphatic, firm, insistent, imperative, positive
1.1 Law Not open to appeal or challenge; final: a peremptory order of the court
More example sentences
  • The appeal is scheduled for March 10th, peremptory to the Appellant, with or without counsel.
  • While the plaintiff has not acted expeditiously in this case, I am not prepared to find that the default is intentional and contumelious, that is, in deliberate contravention of a peremptory order of the court.
  • Human rights and peremptory norms of international law must be observed, and legal obligations toward third states must be respected.
incontrovertible, irreversible, binding, absolute, final, conclusive, decisive, definitive, categorical, irrefutable, unconditional, unchallengeable;
Law  unappealable



Pronunciation: /pəˈrɛm(p)t(ə)rəli/
Example sentences
  • Few of us could lose our job and a major chunk of our lives and self-image so peremptorily and swiftly.
  • Having peremptorily dismissed 90% of the book's content as ‘unconvincing’, he gets to the business of his review.
  • Frank sang aggressively, peremptorily, without really expecting an answer; there is desperation and neediness in Nora's voice, but I don't hear her as genuinely asking a question either.


Pronunciation: /pəˈrɛm(p)t(ə)rɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • Once in the cell, by sheer peremptoriness the young lawyer cajoles him to change outer clothes, cravat, and boots with him and to shake out his hair from its ‘queue’, to look more like his.
  • She attempts to counter mounting evidence by discounting prophecies, but the brevity, the peremptoriness of her responses to his anguished questions is striking.


Late Middle English (as a legal term): via Anglo-Norman French from Latin peremptorius 'deadly, decisive', from perempt- 'destroyed, cut off', from the verb perimere, from per- 'completely' + emere 'take, buy'.

  • This was first used as a legal term meaning ‘admitting no refusal’ when used of an order or decree; it came via Anglo-Norman French from Latin peremptorius ‘deadly, decisive’, from perimere ‘destroy, cut off’. The base elements are Latin per- ‘completely’ and emere ‘take’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: per|emp¦tory

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.