Word of the Day – Peremptory

Word of the Day : February 10, 2022


adjective puh-REMP-tuh-ree

What It Means

Peremptory means “expressive of urgency or command” or “marked by arrogant self-assurance.”

// The soldiers were given a peremptory order to abandon the mission.

// The company’s president has a peremptory manner about her especially at the negotiating table.

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“Celeste had work e-mails flooding in. Her assistant had taken the entire fall off with a mysterious—even suspect—leg injury and now e-mailed Celeste fifteen times a day demanding, in peremptory and vaguely hostile tones, that Celeste fill out paperwork.” — Greg Jackson, The New Yorker, 22 Apr. 2019

Did You Know?

Peremptory comes from Latin perimere, which means “to take entirely” or “to destroy.” The prefix per- means “thoroughly,” and emere means “to take.” Implying the removal of one’s option to disagree or contest something, peremptory stays close to its roots.