Word of the Day

Friday, July 19, 2002

importunate

\im-POR-chuh-nit\ , adjective;
1.
Troublesomely urgent; overly persistent in request or demand; unreasonably solicitous.
Quotes:
An emperor penguin in captivity starved to death by feeding all his rations -- about six pounds of fish daily -- to an importunate chick.
-- Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, The Emperor's Embrace
The play is a cacophony of importunate ringing doorbells and telephones, of pleas both professional and romantic from an exasperating assortment of colleagues and admirers.
-- Ben Brantley, "Present Laughter", New York Times, November 19, 1996
Jokes form a kind of currency, such that a wise-crack from the most importunate beggar may bring instant reward.
-- Max Rodenbeck, Cairo: The City Victorious
Origin:
Importunate is derived from Latin importunus, "unsuitable, troublesome, (of character) assertive, insolent, inconsiderate."
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