Meaning of “impose” in the English Dictionary

"impose" in English

See all translations


uk /ɪmˈpəʊz/ us /ɪmˈpoʊz/

(Definition of “impose” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"impose" in American English

See all translations


us /ɪmˈpoʊz/

impose verb (MAKE RULES)

[ T ] to establish something as a rule to be obeyed, or to force the acceptance of something:

Settlers often imposed their culture on the peoples of the countries they conquered.

impose verb (INCONVENIENCE)

[ I ] to cause inconvenience to someone or to try to spend time with them when they do not want you to:

She’s always imposing on people for favors.
I hope I’m not imposing by staying another night.

(Definition of “impose” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"impose" in Business English

See all translations

imposeverb [ T ]

uk /ɪmˈpəʊz/ us

to introduce a new law, tax, rule, or punishment:

impose a ban/restriction/penalty on sb/sth They are calling for the regulatory body to impose a ban on television ads aimed at the under-12s.
to impose a fine/tariff/tax

(Definition of “impose” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


We ask developing countries to impose competition rules and public procurement rules, and then we continue to subsidise meat, rice and other exports.
We are right to now impose limits on solvents, and, as far as my group is concerned, those limits could be tightened up further.
The authorities have undertaken commitments in this area and it is obviously necessary, in my view, to impose strict controls over their implementation.
What about the problem of liability if employers carry out the comprehensive risk assessments in relation to the sun’s rays, which this directive will finally impose?
If we were to impose a minimum of 50%, there would be cases where we would have difficulty in meeting these different obligations.
As regards the detail, every proposal contradicts the commitment to diversity and to respect for democracy, because attempts are still being made to impose a uniform and binding supranational law.
Operational risk is something that is not yet easily calibrated and we should be very cautious before we impose a large charge.
Efforts to reduce wages and benefits, impose new taxes and drastically reduce pensions and pension rights are all part of the attack on workers' rights.
We are not trying to impose our will on any sovereign state, but we will tell them that there is a price to pay.
We must all know what is happening in this area and that public opinion can also exert control and impose its own sanctions.