verb (used with object), im·posed, im·pos·ing.

  1. to lay on or set as something to be borne, endured, obeyed, fulfilled, paid, etc.: to impose taxes.
  2. to put or set by or as if by authority: to impose one’s personal preference on others.
  3. to obtrude or thrust (oneself, one’s company, etc.) upon others.
  4. to pass or palm off fraudulently or deceptively: He imposed his pretentious books on the public.
  5. Printing. to lay (type pages, plates, etc.) in proper order on an imposing stone or the like and secure in a chase for printing.
  6. to lay on or inflict, as a penalty.
  7. Archaic. to put or place on something, or in a particular place.
  8. Obsolete. to lay on (the hands) ceremonially, as in confirmation or ordination.

verb (used without object), im·posed, im·pos·ing.

  1. to make an impression on the mind; impose one’s or its authority or influence.
  2. to obtrude oneself or one’s requirements, as upon others: Are you sure my request doesn’t impose?
  3. to presume, as upon patience or good nature.

Verb Phrases

  1. impose on/upon,
    1. to thrust oneself offensively upon others; intrude.
    2. to take unfair advantage of; misuse (influence, friendship, etc.).
    3. 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)

  1. (tr) to establish as something to be obeyed or complied with; enforceto impose a tax on the people
  2. to force (oneself, one’s presence, etc) on another or others; obtrude
  3. (intr) to take advantage, as of a person or qualityto impose on someone’s kindness
  4. (tr) printing to arrange pages so that after printing and folding the pages will be in the correct order
  5. (tr) to pass off deceptively; foistto impose a hoax on someone
  6. (tr) (of a bishop or priest) to lay (the hands) on the head of a candidate for certain sacraments

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.

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