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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.