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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 imbues
  • It imbues these trendy devices with a more modern aesthetic and a snappier feel.
  • The roasting process imbues coffee with roasted or toasted notes, stronger in dark roast than in light.
  • Mythology imbues the vampire bat with supernatural powers, but its real abilities are no less extraordinary.
  • She plays her part resourcefully and imbues it with the much desired levity.
  • The unique connection between our investigators and the tribal communities imbues our work with a special dynamic.
  • In conclusion, the school library develops and imbues students with information literacy competencies.
  • Preliminarily, it is important to address a policy argument that imbues the arguments of the appellees.
  • Their efforts and dedication often imbues staff members.
  • It imbues the entire community with a sense of empowerment and opportunity.
British Dictionary definitions for imbues


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 imbues



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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