Definition of importunate in US English:

importunate

adjective

  • Persistent, especially to the point of annoyance or intrusion.

    ‘importunate creditors’
    • ‘The strange gentleman is, we learn, one of Felice Charmond's more importunate lovers (and eventually her assassin).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I aroused my companions daily at six o'clock in the morning, they murmured gently at my importunate zeal; but they arose nevertheless.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In his diary he describes how he ‘saw various forms of squalor, disease, and deformity-all manner of importunate beggary.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tell me everything,’ she requested in an importunate manner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is ready and willing to yield to our importunate cries of faith.’
    • ‘The staff are solicitous rather than importunate.’
    • ‘And I'll hope you'll forgive this importunate but timely plea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mediæval kings may have been surrounded by importunate projectors and alchemists, but they mostly kept them at arm's length.’
    • ‘Wading further through the crowd, we decline a chorus of importunate hands, each holding out postcards that detail the site's glories.’
    persistent, insistent, tenacious, persevering, dogged, unremitting, unrelenting, tireless, indefatigable
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century: from Latin importunus ‘inconvenient, unseasonable’, based on Portunus, the name of the god who protected harbors (from portus ‘harbor’); compare with opportune.

Pronunciation

importunate

/ɪmˈpɔrtʃənət//imˈpôrCHənət/