from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective About to occur; impending.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Overhanging; fixed pendently or so as to overlook; projecting from above.
  • Hence Threatening or about to fall or to occur; impending threateningly; hanging over one's head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Threatening to occur immediately; near at hand; impending; -- said especially of misfortune or peril.
  • adjective Full of danger; threatening; menacing; perilous.
  • adjective rare (With upon) Bent upon; attentive to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective about to happen, occur, or take place very soon, especially of something which won't last long.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective close in time; about to occur


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English iminent, from Old French imminent, from Latin imminēns, imminent-, present participle of imminēre, to overhang : in-, in; see in– + -minēre, to jut, threaten; see men- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the present participle of Latin imminere ("to overhang"), from mineō, related to mons (English mount). Compare with eminent.


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    By far the most common of these words is “eminent,” meaning “prominent, famous.” “Imminent,” in phrases like “facing imminent disaster,” means “threatening.” . . . Positive events can also be imminent: they just need to be coming soon. The rarest of the three is “immanent,” used by philosophers to mean “inherent” and by theologians to mean “present throughout the universe” when referring to ​a god.
    Please follow the link for handy mnemonics and more usage notes.

    January 1, 2011