March 05, 2018
imminent (adjective)
\IM-uh-nunt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: being about to happen
How do you use it?
The imminent arrival at their house of an assortment of wizards was making the Dursleys uptight and irritable. (J.K. Rowling, _Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Imminent" comes from Latin. What do you think the Latin verb that gave us "imminent" means?

No need to feel threatened by our question—the right answer is D! The Latin verb "imminere" means "to project or hang over" or "to threaten," and it's related to the Latin word for "mountain." Just as a mountain can loom over you, so can something that is imminent. When "imminent" first entered English, it referred almost always to bad or evil things that were hanging over a person, but over time, it has lost some of its sinister connotations. Be careful not to confuse "imminent" with "eminent," which is a synonym of "prominent," as in "an eminent scholar."
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