"imp" Definition | Free English Dictionary | international-dictionary.com
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English Word:


English Pronunciation:




(Old English) imp a graft, (Anglo-Saxon) impa; akin to (Danish) ympe, (Swedish) ymp, probably from (Late Latin) impotus, (Greek) be. See 1st In-, Be.


1. A shoot; a scion; a bud; a slip; a graft. (obsolete) Chaucer.

2. An offspring; progeny; child; scion. (obsolete) The tender imp was weaned. Fairfax.

3. A young or inferior devil; a little, malignant spirit; a puny demon; a contemptible evil worker. To mingle in the clamorous fray Of squabbling imps. Beattie.

4. Something added to, or united with, another, to lengthen it out or repair it, -- as, an addition to a beehive; a feather inserted in a broken wing of a bird; a length of twisted hair in a fishing line. [Obs. or Provincial England]

Transitive Verb:


imperfect & past participle Imped; present participle & verbal noun Imping., (Anglo-Saxon) impian to imp, ingraft, plant; akin to (Danish) ympe, (Swedish) ympa, (Old High German) impfon, impiton, German impfen. See Imp, noun


1. To graft; to insert as a scion. (obsolete) Romaunt of the Rose

2. (Falconry) To graft with new feathers, as a wing; to splice a broken feather. Hence, Figurative: To repair; to extend; to increase; to strengthen to equip. [Archaic] Imp out our drooping country's broken wing. (Shakespeare) Who lazily imp their wings with other men's plumes. Fuller. Here no frail Muse shall imp her crippled wing. Holmes. Help, ye tart satirists, to imp my rage With all the scorpions that should whip this age. Cleveland.

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