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Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin importune +‎ -ate



importunate (comparative more importunate, superlative most importunate)

  1. (of a demand) Persistent or pressing, often annoyingly so.
    • 1890, Henry James, The Tragic Muse:
      Nick was on the point of declaring again that he was a humbug, so vivid was his inner sense of what he thought of his factitious public utterances, which had the cursed property of creating dreadful responsibilities and importunate credulities for him.
  2. (of a person) Given to importunate demands, greedily or thoughtlessly demanding.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From French importuner (to bother, disturb)



importunate (third-person singular simple present importunates, present participle importunating, simple past and past participle importunated)

  1. (rare) To importune, or to obtain by importunity.
    • 1581 June 23, Thomas Churchyard, letter to Sir Christopher Hatton, in Sir Harris Nicolas (editor), Memoirs of the Life and Times of Sir Christopher Hatton, K.G., Richard Bentley (publisher, 1847), page 173:
      All which notwithstanding, I obtained licence at length to make my supplication to the noble Parliament house; but I could find no messengers till Sir John Seton went, whom I importunated daily to obtain me favor for my return home again.
    • 1847 December 18, N. Roussel, “Spiritual Destitution of Paris.—Appeal to British Christians”, in Evangelical Christendom: Its State and Prospects, Volume II (1848), Partridge and Oakey, page 43:
      Is my work ended? The fear of importunating my friends answers, “Yes.”
    • 1910 July, David Leslie Brown, “The Need of To-day”, in Sunset, Volume 25, Southern Pacific Company, reverse of frontispiece:
      It is the concrete that impresses, that importunates until it influences—in writing as in everything else.





  1. second-person plural present indicative of importunare
  2. second-person plural imperative of importunare
  3. feminine plural of importunato