Definition of impend in English:



  • 1 Be about to happen.

    ‘my impending departure’
    • ‘The burden of life and impending death is dragging me back down to the luxury of loneliness.’
    • ‘We notice that we have now drawn attention to the album's impending arrival.’
    • ‘These three impending directives will have serious consequences for all employers.’
    • ‘Still, he had no other family and impending death tends to make men wish to confess.’
    • ‘It is not just rumours and a palpable sense of impending danger that throw people off balance.’
    • ‘It seems we had lost the feeling for impending danger that's necessary to avert disaster.’
    • ‘With Valentine's Day looming, the impending nuptials of our banks should be drawing to a conclusion.’
    • ‘Additional expenditure has been incurred as the bank prepares for impending regulatory changes.’
    • ‘Just spent the weekend in Edinburgh to celebrate a friend's impending nuptials, and a good time was had by all.’
    • ‘As it happens my birthday impends so on the day I shall raise a (non-alcoholic) glass to both of you peoples of those religions and wish you well.’
    • ‘Headlines in the press constantly warn of impending asteroid collisions.’
    • ‘Another complication comes from impending legal action over drug patents facing both companies.’
    • ‘One suggestion is that they are trying to warn us about impending ecological disaster on Earth.’
    • ‘These hormones are manufactured in response to an impending threat or danger to the body or mind.’
    • ‘The light was difficult now with sunset impending, and his vision was untrustworthy.’
    • ‘After a break of many years, I find myself in the situation called impending fatherhood.’
    • ‘People's concerns over the summer were dominated less by impending elections than by electricity bills.’
    • ‘So the prophets are split neatly between impending economic doom and postponed blight.’
    • ‘During his stay Jan worked with his brothers Tim and Ben to help them come to terms with Sam's impending death.’
    • ‘And that is before some impending high-profile closures cause even bigger problems.’
    imminent, at hand, close, close at hand, near, nearing, approaching, coming, forthcoming, upcoming, to come, on the way, about to happen, upon us, in store, in the offing, in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, in the wind, brewing, looming, looming large, threatening, menacing
    on the cards
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    1. 1.1archaic (of something bad) be looming.
      ‘the melancholy fate which impended over his nephew’
      • ‘At time of going to press a resolution had not been found, and strike action was impending.’
      • ‘Of the three really huge catastrophes impending in the next century, it seems improbable that we can avoid more than one or two.’
      • ‘The morning, like the past few, was heavy and gray, and rain impended.’


Late 16th century: from Latin impendere, from in- towards, upon + pendere hang.