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impose something (up)on someone
to force something on someone. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Don't try to impose your ideas upon me! The colonists tried to impose their values on the indigenous peoples.
impose (up)on someone
to be a bother to someone; to make a request of something to someone. (Often refers to being an overnight guest or having a meal at someone's house. Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) I don't mean to impose upon you, but could you put me up for the night? Don't worry, I won't let you impose on me.
1. Force something on someone; also, levy a tax or duty. For example, Don't try to impose your ideas on me, or The British crown imposed a tariff on tea. [Late 1500s]
2. Force oneself on others; take unfair advantage of. For example, Am I imposing on you if I stay overnight? or He's always imposing on us, dropping in unexpectedly with numerous friends. [Early 1600s]
impose onor impose upon
1. To make something prevail over someone or something by authority: The government imposes a tax on cigarettes. The tribunal imposed a sentence upon the defendant.
2. To force something, such as a set of rules or opinions, on someone: Don't impose your views on me.
3. To be an inconvenience to someone by requesting unreasonable favors: Our guests imposed on us by staying for three weeks.