Posted by: episystechpubs | January 15, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Imminent vs. Eminent

Let’s take another look at Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Commonly Confused Words today. Coming in at number seven, we have imminent vs. eminent.


Is danger imminent or eminent?



How to remember it:

Think of the first syllables of immediately and imminent to remember that imminent means "about to occur" – often in a threatening sense.

Eminent means "prominent" or "famous." [KC – As in “His Eminence, Cardinal Canestri, is here to deliver last rites to the Pope.]

As it happens, these words have a shared root: -minent comes from a Latin word meaning "to project" or "to stand out." In imminent, this root originally suggested something like a threatening overhang above your head; in eminent it suggested something conspicuous.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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