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[im-pri-keyt] /ˈɪm prɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), imprecated, imprecating.
to invoke or call down (evil or curses), as upon a person.
Origin of imprecate
1605-15; < Latin imprecātus past participle of imprecārī to invoke, pray to or for, equivalent to im- im-1 + prec- pray + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
imprecator, noun
imprecatory, adjective
unimprecated, adjective
curse, execrate, anathematize, accurse, denunciate.
bless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imprecate
Historical Examples
  • To imprecate evil on any living being seems to them unchristian, barbarous, a relic of dark ages and dark superstitions.

    Town and Country Sermons Charles Kingsley
  • Bowing my head to think—to pray—to imprecate, I lost all sense of time and place.

    Heralds of Empire Agnes C. Laut
  • I know not what I ought to imprecate on the wretches who had spread a report of your death.

  • But now there is scarcely a tongue in all New England that does not imprecate curses on his name.

    Grandfather's Chair Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • There was nothing for him to resent, nothing for him to imprecate but his own folly.

    The Alaskan James Oliver Curwood
  • He ceased to imprecate only when, by repetition, his oaths became too inexpressive to be worth while.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
British Dictionary definitions for imprecate


(intransitive) to swear, curse, or blaspheme
(transitive) to invoke or bring down (evil, a curse, etc): to imprecate disaster on the ship
(transitive) to put a curse on
Derived Forms
imprecatory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin imprecārī to invoke, from im-in-² + precārī to pray
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 imprecate

1610s, probably a back-formation from imprecation. Related: Imprecated; imprecating; imprecatory (1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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