imperative

When something absolutely has to be done and cannot be put off, use the adjective imperative.

Imperative is from Latin imperare, "to command," and its original use was for a verb form expressing a command: "Do it!" is an imperative sentence. The word is still used that way, but it's more commonly applied to something so pressing it cannot be put off: "It's imperative that we hire more workers if we want to complete the job on time." Imperative has more immediate force than pressing but less than urgent.

Definitions of imperative
  1. adjective
    requiring attention or action
    “as nuclear weapons proliferate, preventing war becomes imperative
    “requests that grew more and more imperative
    Synonyms:
    assertive, self-asserting, self-assertive
    aggressively self-assured
    adjuratory
    containing a solemn charge or command
    clamant, crying, exigent, insistent, instant
    demanding attention
    peremptory
    not allowing contradiction or refusal
    desperate
    showing extreme urgency or intensity especially because of great need or desire
    pressing, urgent
    compelling immediate action
    shrill, strident
    being sharply insistent on being heard
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    Antonyms:
    beseeching, imploring, pleading
    begging
    adjuratory
    earnestly or solemnly entreating
    importunate
    expressing earnest entreaty
    mendicant
    practicing beggary
    petitionary
    of the nature of or expressing a petition
    precative, precatory
    expressing entreaty or supplication
    suppliant, supplicant, supplicatory
    humbly entreating
    show more antonyms...
  2. noun
    some duty that is essential and urgent
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    type of:
    duty, obligation, responsibility
    the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
  3. noun
    a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior
    synonyms: imperative form, imperative mood, jussive mood
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    type of:
    modality, mode, mood
    verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker
  4. adjective
    relating to verbs in the imperative mood
Word Family
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