Meaning of “impose” in the English Dictionary

"impose" in British English

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uk /ɪmˈpəʊz/ us /ɪmˈpoʊz/

impose verb (FORCE)

C1 [ T ] to officially force a rule, tax, punishment, etc. to be obeyed or received:

Very high taxes have recently been imposed on cigarettes.
Judges are imposing increasingly heavy fines for minor driving offences.
The council has imposed a ban on alcohol in the city parks.

C1 [ T ] to force someone to accept something, especially a belief or way of living:

I don't want them to impose their religious beliefs on my children.
We must impose some kind of order on the way this office is run.

More examples

  • He wants the government to impose strict controls on dog ownership.
  • In view of the quantity of drugs involved, 16 years was the most lenient sentence the judge could impose.
  • The government has failed to impose its will upon regional communities.
  • Central government has imposed a cap on local tax increases.
  • Some people like the sense of structure that a military lifestyle imposes.

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

"impose" in American English

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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 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

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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)