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imminent

adjective

Definition: about to happen or likely to occur soon

Synonyms: impending, threatening, menacing, looming, forthcoming, near, close

Antonyms: far-off, unlikely, distant

Tips: Imminent is used to describe something that is expected to occur at anytime; it often refers to something foreboding (bad that is about to happen). Imminent, impending, and forthcoming are all synonymous. Imminent and impending usually refer to negative and threatening events that are about to take place (e.g. imminent danger or impending lawsuit). Forthcoming is simply something that is expected to happen, without any negative connotation. For a memory trick, note that imminent sounds a little like "in a minute." Imminent is used to describe something that is about to happen anytime and could potentially happen "in a minute." Imminent should not be confused with its homonym eminent, which means "important" or "of high standing."

Usage Examples:

I'm sorry to tell you that with the latest threat, you and your family appear to be in imminent danger. (forthcoming, impending)

The closing of the community center appears imminent despite the efforts of the citizens to save it. (forthcoming, impending)

We were told the arrival of the storm was imminent. (looming, impending)

Everyone knew a fight was imminent when the group of striking workers came face-to-face with their replacements. (forthcoming, looming)


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