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[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 imbued
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not by words but by her whole being she imbued me with love.

    Tolstoy L. Winstanley
  • Her husband had ideas on that subject, and had imbued her with them.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • He was imbued with an exaggerated idea of his own importance, and possessed of most unblushing assurance.

  • The air and sunshine, nay, the very rocks are imbued with it.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • He, though he is imbued in the Socratic lectures, will not morosely reject thee.

British Dictionary definitions for imbued


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 imbued



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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