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From Middle English enmuren and Middle French emmurer, both from Old French enmurer, from Latin immūrō, from in- + mūrus (wall). Modern spelling is modelled after the Latin.


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈmjʊə(ɹ)/
  • Rhymes: -ʊə(ɹ)
  • (file)


immure (third-person singular simple present immures, present participle immuring, simple past and past participle immured)

  1. (transitive) To cloister, confine, imprison or hole up: to lock someone up or seclude oneself behind walls.
    • 1799, Mary Meeke, Elleſmere: A Novel[1], volume IV, William Lane, pages 219–220:
      The gentlemen looked at each other for a ſolution of this ſtrange event, each preſuming an order had been obtained to again immure the unfortunate Clara.
    • 1810, J[ohn] Stagg, “Arthur’s Cave. A Legendary Tale.”, in The Minstrel of the North: Or, Cumbrian Legends. [], London: Printed by Hamblin and Seyfang, [], for the author, and sold by J. Blacklock, [], →OCLC, page 105:
      [I]n the reign of Henry the Second, a body happening, by chance, to be dug up near Glastonbury Abbey, without any symptoms of putrefaction or decay, the Welch, the descendants of the Ancient Britons, tenacious of the dignity and reputation of that illustrious hero [King Arthur], vainly supposed it could be no other than the body of their justly-boasted Pen-Dragon; and that he had been immured in that sepulchre by the spells of some powerful and implacable inchanter.
    • 1880, Rosina Bulwer Lytton, A Blighted Life, Preface:
      In a happy moment for the Levy-Lawson-Levis, Lady Lytton was betrayed, seized, and immured. The Editor saw his chance, and made the Metropolis ring with the outrage. Levi was saved; so also was Lady Lytton.
    • a. 1887 (date written), Emily Dickinson, “[Part 5: The Single Hound] Immured in Heaven!”, in Martha Dickinson Bianchi and Alfred Leete Hampson, editors, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, centenary edition, Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, and Company, published November 1930, →OCLC, page 254:
      Immured in Heaven! What a Cell! / Let every bondage be, / Thou Sweetest of the Universe, / Like that which ravished thee!
    • 1933 December, Albert H. Cotton, “A Note on the Civil Remedies of Injured Consumers”, in David F. Cavers (editor), Duke University School of Law, Law and Contemporary Problems, Volume I Number I, Duke University Press (1934), page 71:
      This rule is followed in all common-law jurisdictions, although it was not adopted by the House of Lords until 1932, and then only with vigorous dissent, in a case where a mouse was immured in a ginger-beer bottle.
  2. (transitive) To put or bury within a wall.
    John's body was immured Thursday in the mausoleum.
    • 1906, Robert Chambers, The Book of Days, volume 1, page 807:
      The dreadful punishment of immuring persons, or burying them alive in the walls of convents, was undoubtedly sometimes resorted to by monastic communities.
  3. To wall in.
  4. (transitive, crystallography and geology, of a growing crystal) To trap or capture (an impurity); chiefly in the participial adjective immured and gerund or gerundial noun immuring.
    • 1975, American Institute of Physics, American Crystallographic Association, Soviet Physics, Crystallography, Volume 19, Issues 1-3, page 296,
      On increasing the supercooling, the step starts completely immuring the impurity and rises sharply.


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immure (plural immures)

  1. (obsolete) A wall; an enclosure.

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