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[puh-remp-tuh-ree, per-uh mp-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /pəˈrɛmp tə ri, ˈpɛr əmpˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
leaving no opportunity for denial or refusal; imperative:
a peremptory command.
imperious or dictatorial.
positive or assertive in speech, tone, manner, etc.
  1. that precludes or does not admit of debate, question, etc.:
    a peremptory edict.
  2. decisive or final.
  3. in which a command is absolute and unconditional:
    a peremptory writ.
Origin of peremptory
1505-15; < Latin peremptōrius final, decisive, literally, deadly, destructive (derivative of perimere to take away fully, destroy, slay), equivalent to per- per- + em-, base of emere to buy, orig. to take + -tōrius -tory1, with intrusive p
Related forms
peremptorily, adverb
peremptoriness, noun
overperemptorily, adverb
overperemptorilyness, noun
overperemptory, adjective
unperemptorily, adverb
unperemptoriness, noun
unperemptory, adjective
Can be confused
peremptory, preemptive.
2. arbitrary, dogmatic, domineering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for peremptorily
Historical Examples
  • Few minutes later outraged attendant, catching sight of the bundle, peremptorily ordered its removal.

  • peremptorily I dismissed these harassing and frightful doubts.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
  • He peremptorily ordered them to go home to bed, and departed with his servant and his dog.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • She waved him peremptorily, almost contemptuously, into silence.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Another message came up from the kitchen, and peremptorily forbade the company to wait any longer.

  • "Go on with your statement, sir," said Cashel, peremptorily.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Yet it had been peremptorily decided for her without any regard to her right or wish.

    A Reconstructed Marriage Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • "I shouldn't touch the bell if I were you," he said peremptorily.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • With her daughter Arina Petrovna dealt as peremptorily as she had with her hated son.

    A Family of Noblemen Mikhal Saltykov
  • Some one called her name softly and peremptorily, but she did not stop.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
British Dictionary definitions for peremptorily


urgent or commanding: a peremptory ring on the bell
not able to be remitted or debated; decisive
positive or assured in speech, manner, etc; dogmatic
  1. admitting of no denial or contradiction; precluding debate
  2. obligatory rather than permissive
Derived Forms
peremptorily, adverb
peremptoriness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-Norman peremptorie, from Latin peremptōrius decisive, from perimere to take away completely, from per- (intensive) + emere to take
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 peremptorily



"decisive," mid-15c., legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Middle French peremtoire, from Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," from perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per- "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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