• WordNet 3.6
    • v importune beg persistently and urgently "I importune you to help them"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Importune Inopportune; unseasonable.
    • Importune To import; to signify. "It importunes death."
    • Importune To request or solicit, with urgency; to press with frequent, unreasonable, or troublesome application or pertinacity; hence, to tease; to irritate; to worry. "Their ministers and residents here have perpetually importuned the court with unreasonable demands."
    • v. i Importune To require; to demand. "We shall write to you,
      As time and our concernings shall importune ."
    • Importune Troublesome; vexatious; persistent; urgent; hence, vexatious on account of untimely urgency or pertinacious solicitation. "And their importune fates all satisfied.""Of all other affections it [envy] is the most importune and continual."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • importune Unseasonable; inopportune; untimely.
    • importune Importunate.
    • n importune An importunate person; one offensively persistent.
    • importune To press or harass with solicitation; ply or beset with unremitting petitions or demands; crave or require persistently.
    • importune To crave or require persistently; beg for urgently.
    • importune To annoy; irritate; molest.
    • importune [A false use, by confusion with import.] To import; signify; mean.
    • importune Synonyms Request, Beg, Tease (see ask); appeal to, plead with, beset, urge, plague, worry, press, dun.
    • importune To make requests or demands urgently and persistently.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Importune im-pōr-tūn′ to urge with troublesome application: to press urgently:
    • adj Importune untimely: importunate
    • v.t Importune im-pōr-tūn′ (Spens.) to import, signify (a false use): to molest, as a beggar, prostitute, &c
    • ***


  • William Hazlitt
    “The are of will-making chiefly consists in baffling the importunity of expectation.”
  • Thomas Gray
    Thomas Gray
    “Too poor for a bribe, and too proud to importune, he had not the method of making a fortune.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. importun, L. importunus,; pref. im-, not + a derivative from the root of portus, harbor, importunus, therefore orig. meaning, hard of access. See Port harbor, and cf. Importunate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. importunusin, not, portus, a harbour.


In literature:

They had been so lucky as to escape complaints and importunities, and were glad to turn away their eyes too.
"An "Attic" Philosopher, Complete" by Emile Souvestre
This argues something, worthy of a fear Of importune and carnal appetite.
"The Alchemist" by Ben Jonson
This task he performed to our satisfaction, after he had disturbed their enjoyment with his importunate clamour.
"The Adventures of Roderick Random" by Tobias Smollett
Here Sir W. Pen did give me the reason in my eare of his importunity for money, for that he is now to marry his daughter.
"Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1666" by Samuel Pepys
Because in violation of my wishes she had persisted in writing, and soon began to importune me for money.
"At the Mercy of Tiberius" by August Evans Wilson
One day, however, when he was forced to go to Northwold on business, Louis put on a fit of coaxing importunity.
"Dynevor Terrace (Vol. I)" by Charlotte M. Yonge
She could imagine the whole reciprocated, and she feared to be importunate.
"Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II)" by Charlotte M. Yonge
During the next period of doubling, where will the food be found to satisfy the importunate demands of the increasing numbers?
"An Essay on the Principle of Population" by Thomas Malthus
About the middle of the month the Rebels yielded to the importunities of our Government so far as to agree to exchange ten thousand sick.
"Andersonville, Volume 4" by John McElroy
And Benis Spence was not a man who would beg or importune.
"The Window-Gazer" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
When importunity could not be otherwise defeated, she pretended a conscientious scruple.
"In the Year of Jubilee" by George Gissing
The question was importunate, and she held it a temptation of her weaker self.
"A Life's Morning" by George Gissing
It was the IMPORTUNATE widow that was heard, and it is the importunate seeker that never fails of an answer.
"The Heart-Cry of Jesus" by Byron J. Rees
The Importunate Friend, Sect.
"A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ" by Archibald Thomas Robertson
How stolid, brutally bold, importunate, unmannerly, was every one she allured!
"Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and Travels, Vol. I (of 2)" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Importunity prevails even where the claims of friendship prove inoperative.
"The Assembly of God" by C. (Charles) H. (Henry) Mackintosh
I confesse, the going about to pay debts, hastens importunity.
"Letters to Severall Persons of Honour" by John Donne
They, however, importunately demanded a treaty from the United States government in return for their loyalty.
"The American Indian as Slaveholder and Seccessionist" by Annie Heloise Abel
Without your importunities and officious advances no great lord or knight or man of honour would think of you.
"Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to 1535" by Eileen Edna Power
The luxury of stage-improvements, and the importunity of the public eye, require this.
"The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb" by Charles Lamb

In poetry:

One more Unfortunate
Weary of breath
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!
"The Bridge of Sighs" by Thomas Hood
From flower to flower
The butterfly sips,
O passionate limbs
And importunate lips!
"Snatch" by Richard Le Gallienne
Though unbelief suggest,
Why should we longer wait?
He bids us never give him rest,
But be importunate.
"The Importunate Widow" by John Newton
Thou art my thought, my heart, my being's fortune,
The search for thee my growth's first conscious date;
For nought, for everything, I thee importune;
Thou art my all, my origin and fate!
"To The Life Eternal" by George MacDonald
The question hangs unanswered, like an unwise prayer,
Importunate, but powerless response to bring;
Go ask the voyagers, the rovers everywhere--
They only say it is their rest-time, outing, their
"The Tourist" by Hattie Howard
Hushed is the lover's importunate call;
Silence and mystery brood over all;
Still my Undine sits facing the dawn;
'Tis but a mask, for her spirit is gone,--
Gone on that crystalline path to the deep,
Lured there to ecstasy, lulled there to sleep.
"Undine" by John Lawson Stoddard

In news:

On the other side of the coin, harassed hosts can become completely unhinged if they feel unduly importuned by their guests' complex eating regimens and preferences.
Light, 27, was sentenced to 180 days for attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and 180 days for importuning.