imprecation

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See also: imprécation

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Latin imprecātiō (calling down of curses), from imprecor (call down, invoke), from in- (towards) + precor (pray).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˌɪm.pɹɪˈkeɪ.ʃən/, /ˌɪm.pɹəˈkeɪ.ʃən/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

imprecation (countable and uncountable, plural imprecations)

  1. The act of imprecating, or invoking evil upon someone; a prayer that a curse or calamity may befall someone.
    • 1893, Stephen Crane, Maggie, Girl of the Streets, ch. 10:
      Her son turned to look at her as she reeled and swayed in the middle of the room, her fierce face convulsed with passion, her blotched arms raised high in imprecation. "May Gawd curse her forever," she shrieked.
  2. A curse.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, ch. 3:
      Mr. Gamfield growled a fierce imprecation on the donkey generally, but more particularly on his eyes; and, running after him, bestowed a blow on his head.
    • 1847, Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, chapter V:
      He drank the spirits and impatiently bade us go; terminating his command with a sequel of horrid imprecations too bad to repeat or remember.

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