Word of the Day

Monday, August 07, 2006

peremptory

\puh-REMP-tuh-ree\ , adjective;
1.
Precluding or putting an end to all debate or action.
2.
Not allowing contradiction or refusal; absolute; decisive; conclusive; final.
3.
Expressive of urgency or command.
4.
Offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power; dictatorial; dogmatic.
Quotes:
He would dismiss the whole business . . . with a peremptory snort.
-- R.M. Berry, Leonardo's Horse
When she meets with his angry and peremptory refusal, Lucy travels to his country estate; but, entering the woods that surround it, she finds that Charles has defended himself from just such unwanted visits by girding the estate with a number of steel traps.
-- Henry Alford, "Slaves of the Hamptons", New York Times, August 8, 1999
Peremptory letters from faceless financiers.
-- George F. Will, Bunts
And we're provided with mini-narratives familiar even to those with only a passing knowledge of Russian history: the woman who stands day after day outside the political prison in the frigid cold, hoping to catch a glimpse of her husband; the collisions with the imperious and peremptory bureaucrats.
-- Jim Shepard, "Dead Souls", New York Times, September 26, 1999
The voice that came over the wire was full of grovel and Hollywood subjunctives. It was a voice trained to cut through the din of nightclubs and theater rehearsals, a flexible instrument that could shift from adulation to abuse in a single syllable, ingratiating yet peremptory, a rich syrup of unction and specious authority.
-- Sidney Joseph Perelman, quoted in the New York Times, March 15, 1981
Origin:
Peremptory comes from Latin peremptorius, "destructive," from peremptus, past participle of perimere, "to take thoroughly, to do away with, to destroy; hence, to thwart, to frustrate," from per-, "thoroughly" + emere, "to take, to obtain."
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