- An example of impetuous is a bulldozer.
- An example of impetuous is a person jumping onto a moving train.
The definition of impetuous is something that moves with a lot of force or done with little thought.
- Now Rare moving with great force or violence; having great impetus; rushing; furious: impetuous winds
- acting or done suddenly with little thought; rash; impulsive
Origin of impetuousMiddle English impetuouse from Old French impetueuse from Classical Latin impetuosus from impetus: see impetus
- Acting or done quickly with little or inadequate thought.
- Having or marked by violent force: impetuous, heaving waves.
Origin of impetuousMiddle English violent from Old French impetueux from Late Latin impetuōsus from Latin impetus impetus ; see impetus .
impetuous heedless hasty headlong precipitate sudden
These adjectives describe abruptness or lack of deliberation. Impetuous suggests forceful impulsiveness or impatience: “[a race driver who was] flamboyant, impetuous, disdainful of death” (Jim Murray). Heedless implies carelessness or lack of responsibility or proper regard for consequences: “Hobbling down stairs with heedless haste, I set my foot full in a pail of water” (Richard Steele). Hasty and headlong both stress hurried, often reckless action: “Hasty marriage seldom proveth well” (Shakespeare). “In his headlong flight down the circular staircase, … [he] had pitched forward violently, struck his head against the door to the east veranda, and probably broken his neck” (Mary Roberts Rinehart). Precipitate suggests impulsiveness and lack of due reflection: a precipitate decision. Sudden applies to what becomes apparent abruptly or unexpectedly: is given to sudden paroxysms of anger.
(comparative more impetuous, superlative most impetuous)
- Making arbitrary decisions, especially in an impulsive and forceful manner.
- Characterized by sudden and violent force.