col·​li·​sion | \ kə-ˈli-zhən How to pronounce collision (audio) \

Definition of collision

1 : an act or instance of colliding : clash
2 : an encounter between particles (such as atoms or molecules) resulting in exchange or transformation of energy

Other Words from collision

collisional \ kə-​ˈlizh-​nəl How to pronounce collision (audio) , -​ˈli-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective
collisionally adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for collision

impact, collision, shock, concussion mean a forceful, even violent contact between two or more things. impact may be used to imply contact between two things, at least one of which is impelled toward the other. the glass shattered on impact with the floor collision implies the coming together of two or more things with such force that both or all are damaged or their progress is severely impeded. the collision damaged the vehicle shock often denotes the effect produced by a collision and carries the suggestion of something that strikes or hits with force. the shock of falling rocks concussion when not in technical use, often suggests the shattering, disrupting, or weakening effects of a collision, explosion, or blow. bystanders felt the concussion of the blast

Examples of collision in a Sentence

The car was destroyed in the collision. the collision of two opposing philosophies regarding the rearing of children
Recent Examples on the Web Alcohol may have played a role in the collision, police said. Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 At least 15 students and two drivers were injured in a collision Wednesday morning between a school bus, dump truck and another vehicle in North Carolina. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, 11 May 2022 Speed or impairment are not believed to be a factor in the collision, police said. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 The two other passengers in the Nissan, also teenagers, along with Deputy Michael Trotter, were critically injured in the collision. oregonlive, 10 May 2022 Neither alcohol nor drugs are believed to be a factor in the collision, the CHP officer said. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2022 Worse, if they were involved in a collision, the children could be seriously injured. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the collision. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Her brother and his wife had recently been killed in a collision with a semi. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collision.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of collision

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for collision

Middle English, from Latin collision-, collisio, from collidere

Learn More About collision

Time Traveler for collision

Time Traveler

The first known use of collision was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near collision



collision bulkhead

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for collision

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Collision.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for collision


col·​li·​sion | \ kə-ˈli-zhən How to pronounce collision (audio) \

Kids Definition of collision

: an act or instance of colliding

More from Merriam-Webster on collision

Nglish: Translation of collision for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collision for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about collision


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!