v. im·posed, im·pos·ing, im·pos·es
1. To establish or apply as compulsory; levy: impose a tax.
2. To bring about by authority or force; force to prevail: impose a peace settlement.
3. To obtrude or force (oneself, for example) on another or others.
4. Printing To arrange (type or plates) on an imposing stone.
5. To offer or circulate fraudulently; pass off: imposed a fraud on consumers.
To force oneself on or take unfair advantage of others: You are always imposing on their generosity.
[Middle English imposen, from Old French imposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin impōnere, to place upon : in-, on; see IN-2 + pōnere, to place; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus