Definition of importunate in English:



  • Persistent, especially to the point of annoyance.

    ‘importunate creditors’
    • ‘Plato also compares the desires to wild beasts for the more they are satisfied, the more importunate they grow, driving the man to ever more strenuous attempts to achieve an ever-diminishing satisfaction.’
    • ‘I aroused my companions daily at six o'clock in the morning, they murmured gently at my importunate zeal; but they arose nevertheless.’
    • ‘What Burke argued passionately against, by contrast, was the French Revolution and Jacobin thinking, which he saw as expressing an unhistorical, tyrannical spirit and an importunate desire for power.’
    • ‘Tell me everything,’ she requested in an importunate manner.’
    • ‘The staff are solicitous rather than importunate.’
    • ‘And I'll hope you'll forgive this importunate but timely plea.’
    • ‘As Oscar Wilde observed, the personal memoir, even if written for friends and family alone or to satisfy an importunate publisher, is always delightfully self-obsessed.’
    • ‘In his diary he describes how he ‘saw various forms of squalor, disease, and deformity-all manner of importunate beggary.’’
    • ‘He is ready and willing to yield to our importunate cries of faith.’
    • ‘So not only did the importunate young man squeeze a few extra minutes out of the eminent philosopher, he also caught, and recorded him, laughing at his guest's foolishness.’
    • ‘The strange gentleman is, we learn, one of Felice Charmond's more importunate lovers (and eventually her assassin).’
    • ‘Mediæval kings may have been surrounded by importunate projectors and alchemists, but they mostly kept them at arm's length.’
    • ‘It is a sweet and pretty countenance that can become contorted into a Munchian shriek, a child's importunate obstinacy, a beleaguered housewife's exasperation, a hectoring soldier's grimace, or anything else.’
    • ‘He goes off to play a chieftain in a school production of South Pacific and returns to his office, in costume, to talk to an importunate but delightful female student with whom he chats, dances, flirts, and drums.’
    • ‘Locals often advise visitors to show their empty palms to monkeys if they are in the preserve and want to avoid their importunate extortion of food.’
    • ‘The result was discoverable, he added, in that silent, yet importunate and terrible influence which for centuries had moulded the destinies of his family, and which made him what I now saw him-what he was.’
    • ‘Wading further through the crowd, we decline a chorus of importunate hands, each holding out postcards that detail the site's glories.’
    • ‘And although the gulling of Benedick is wittily done - with an importunate boy messenger demanding a tip from the supposedly hidden protagonist - that of Beatrice lapses into farce as she is drenched by a garden hose.’
    • ‘The larger goal is to encourage a strategy for thinking broadly about contentious issues so that the church maintains its intellectual and theological integrity and is not simply captivated by insistent or importunate voices.’
    • ‘They compounded verbal injury by laying importunate hands on women of our group.’
    persistent, insistent, tenacious, persevering, dogged, unremitting, unrelenting, tireless, indefatigable
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Early 16th century: from Latin importunus ‘inconvenient, unseasonable’, based on Portunus, the name of the god who protected harbours (from portus ‘harbour’); compare with opportune.