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English definition of “imperative”

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imperative

adjective uk   /ɪmˈper.ə.tɪv/ us    /-t̬ɪv/

imperative adjective (URGENT)

C2 extremely important or urgent: [+ that] The president said it was imperative that the release of all hostages be secured. [+ to infinitive] It's imperative to act now before the problem gets really serious.

imperative adjective (GRAMMAR)

specialized language used to describe the form of a verb that is usually used for giving orders: In the phrase "Leave him alone!", the verb "leave" is in the imperative form.
Grammar

imperative

noun uk   /ɪmˈper.ə.tɪv/ us    /-t̬ɪv/

imperative noun (GRAMMAR)

B2 [S] specialized language the form of a verb that is usually used for giving orders: In the phrase "Leave him alone!", the verb "leave" is an imperative/is in the imperative.
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imperative noun (URGENT)

[C] something that is extremely important or urgent: Getting the unemployed back to work, said the mayor, is a moral imperative.
Grammar
(Definition of imperative from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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