When things impend, they are just about to happen. As you're heading into a haunted house, you might have the feeling that spooky noises and lurching monsters impend.

While you're more likely to see the adjective form of this word, impending, used to describe something that's looming or coming up in the future, you can also use the verb impend when something is approaching or developing. You could say, for example, that winter impends when the leaves have all fallen off the trees and the temperature has dropped. The Latin root is impendere, "hang over or be imminent," from pendere, or "hang."

Definitions of impend
  1. verb
    be imminent or about to happen
    “Changes are impending
    see moresee less
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week