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Borrowed from Latin impendere (to hang over, to weigh out).


  • IPA(key): /ɪmˈpɛnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd


impend (third-person singular simple present impends, present participle impending, simple past and past participle impended)

  1. (obsolete) To hang or be suspended over (something); to overhang.
    • 1789, John Moore, Zeluco, Valancourt 2008, p. 210:
      The Earl had often heard of a rich citizen [] and the peculiar charm of a little snug rotunda which he had just finished on the verge of his ground, and which impended the great London road.
    • 1857, Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux, “עַל (Strong's H5921) definition (A)(3)(a)”, in Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, retrieved 27 September 2015:
      When a thing really impends over another, e.g. when one stands at a fountain (עַל־עֵין), over which one really leans.
  2. (intransitive) Figuratively to hang over (someone) as a threat or danger.
  3. (intransitive) To threaten to happen; to be about to happen, to be imminent.
  4. (obsolete) To pay.

Related terms[edit]