imperative Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “imperative” in the English Dictionary

"imperative" in British English

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imperativeadjective

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

imperativenoun

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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Grammar
(Definition of imperative from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"imperative" in American English

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imperativeadjective

 us   /ɪmˈper·ə·t̬ɪv/
  • imperative adjective (URGENT)

extremelyimportant or ​urgent: [+ that clause] It is imperative that these ​medicalsupplies be ​deliveredimmediately.

imperativenoun

 us   /ɪmˈper·ə·t̬ɪv/
  • imperative noun (GRAMMAR)

grammar [U] the ​mood (= ​form) of a ​verb used for giving ​orders: In the phrase "Leave him ​alone," the ​verb "​leave" is in the imperative.
  • imperative noun (SOMETHING URGENT)

[C] something that ​needs to be done or given ​attentionimmediately: The ​government has a ​moral imperative to ​provideequalaccess to high-quality ​education for all ​children.
(Definition of imperative from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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