"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[im-byoo] /ɪmˈbyu/
verb (used with object), imbued, imbuing.
to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.:
The new political leader was imbued with the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
to saturate or impregnate with moisture, color, etc.
to imbrue.
Origin of imbue
1545-55; < Latin imbuere to wet, drench
Related forms
imbuement, noun
preimbue, verb (used with object), preimbued, preimbuing.
unimbued, adjective
Can be confused
imbrue, imbue.
1. charge, infect, fire. 2. permeate, infuse, tincture, soak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for imbue
  • The smoke and peat that saturate the boozy oak imbue the beer with a richness that's unmistakably ancient.
  • He could imbue adult cells, which are normally fixed in specific roles, with the limitless potential of stem cells.
  • Also part of the bending and twisting of language is to imbue it with meaning to those who understand the code.
  • Apparently, no effort was made to imbue the flag with any special symbolism.
  • Only a few ideas so capture our imagination that they imbue objects with universal meaning.
  • Sponsors imbue the ship with their spirit during its years of service, according to maritime tradition.
  • These flights are critical to imbue the design process with actual flight test data.
British Dictionary definitions for imbue


verb -bues, -buing, -bued (transitive) usually foll by with
to instil or inspire (with ideals, principles, etc): his sermons were imbued with the spirit of the Reformation
(rare) to soak, esp with moisture, dye, etc
Derived Forms
imbuement, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin imbuere to stain, accustom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for imbue

early 15c., "to keep wet; to soak, saturate;" also figuratively "to cause to absorb" (feelings, opinions, etc.), from Latin imbuere "moisten," of uncertain origin, perhaps from the same root as imbrication. Cf. also Old French embu, past participle of emboivre, from Latin imbibere "drink in, soak in" (see imbibe), which might have influenced the English word. Related: Imbued; imbuing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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