One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A spoken curse.‘she hurled her imprecations at anyone who might be listening’
curse, malediction, anathemaswear word, curse, expletive, oath, profanity, four-letter word, obscenity, epithet, dirty wordView synonyms
- ‘Screaming imprecations and struggling wildly, she had to be held down by several guards while I cut the splint off her arm.’
- ‘The prisoners shouted imprecations against the government, proclaimed their innocence, and in some cases waved crutches and prosthetic limbs to show that they were not the dangerous guerrilla fighters they are alleged to be.’
- ‘Howell was muttering threats and imprecations.’
- ‘Croft galloped past the cart, the farmer's imprecations following him down the road.’
- ‘He is, at this moment, hunched over his unstolen cellphone in tears, begging, pleading, mumbling imprecations for me to call him and relieve his torment.’
Late Middle English: from Latin imprecatio(n-), from imprecari ‘invoke (evil)’, from in- ‘towards’ + precari ‘pray’.
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