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imp

[imp] /ɪmp/
noun
1.
a little devil or demon; an evil spirit.
2.
a mischievous child.
3.
Archaic. a scion or offshoot of a plant or tree.
4.
Archaic. an offspring.
verb (used with object)
5.
Falconry.
  1. to graft (feathers) into a wing.
  2. to furnish (a wing, tail, etc.) with feathers, as to make good losses or deficiencies and improve powers of flight.
6.
Archaic. to add a piece to; mend or repair.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English impe, Old English impa, impe shoot, graft < Late Latin impotus, imputus grafted shoot < Greek émphytos planted, implanted, verbal adjective of emphŷein to implant (em- em-2 + phŷein to bring forth); (v.) Middle English impen to plant, graft, Old English impian, geimpian, derivative of the noun (compare Old High German impfōn, impitōn > German impfen to inoculate); sense “demon” < phrase imp of the devil
Synonyms
2. scamp, rascal, brat, devil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for imps
  • The imps used an old cornerstone package, square and blue, as a picnic basket.
  • The datum is used as a basis for calculating imps for the participating teams or pairs.
British Dictionary definitions for imps

imp

/ɪmp/
noun
1.
a small demon or devil; mischievous sprite
2.
a mischievous child
verb
3.
(transitive) (falconry) to insert (new feathers) into the stumps of broken feathers in order to repair the wing of a hawk or falcon
Word Origin
Old English impa bud, graft, hence offspring, child, from impian to graft, ultimately from Greek emphutos implanted, from emphuein to implant, from phuein to plant
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 imps

imp

n.

Old English impe, impa "young shoot, graft," from impian "to graft," probably an early West Germanic borrowing from Vulgar Latin *imptus, from Late Latin impotus "implanted," from Greek emphytos, verbal adjective formed from emphyein "implant," from em- "in" + phyein "to plant" (see physic).

Sense of "child, offspring" (late 14c.) came from transfer of word from plants to people, with notion of "newness" preserved. Modern meaning "little devil" (1580s) is from common use in pejorative phrases like imp of Satan.

Suche appereth as aungelles, but in very dede they be ymps of serpentes. ["The Pilgrimage of Perfection," 1526]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for imps

imp

impression

IMP

instrument mounting platform
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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