col·​li·​sion | \kə-ˈli-zhən \

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

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Other Words from collision

collisional \kə-​ˈlizh-​nəl, -​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

The Texas cop is available to narrowly avoid the car by leaping over the railing moments before the collision. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Body cam footage shows car slam into Texas cop's motorcycle," 12 July 2018 Troopers had spotted him speeding the wrong way on I-95 but could not catch up to him before the collision, said FHP Lt. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Driver in deadly wrong-way crash on I-95 had just stabbed girlfriend, police said.," 7 July 2018 Hibbert was unable to stop before the collision, state police said. Christine Dempsey,, "Woman, 91, Dies In Colchester Crash, State Police Say," 25 June 2018 The car’s computer didn’t sense his hands on the steering wheel for six seconds before the collision, according to NTSB. Fortune, "Tesla Model X in California Crash Sped Up Seconds Before Impact," 7 June 2018 Daniel's daughter was born two days before the collision, The Kansas City Star reported . Fox News, "Missouri police chase victim headed to see newborn daughter," 4 June 2018 Otero, 20, told police that Marinelli had picked her up from work shortly before the collision for one of those drives. Vinny Vella,, "Bucks woman pleads in crash that killed man, injured girlfriend," 30 May 2018 The driver of a minivan involved in a crash with an ambulance in Aurora that sent 10 people to the hospital appeared not to see a stop sign before the collision, according to police. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "Driver of minivan cited after Aurora crash involving ambulance sends 10 to hospital," 17 May 2018 Based on data recovered from the Honda, investigators learned the car was going about 100 mph just before the collision. Michael Williams,, "OPD: Man high on pot during Feb. crash that killed 2 arrested," 12 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for collision

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for collision

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

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More Definitions for collision



English Language Learners Definition of collision

: a crash in which two or more things or people hit each other

: a situation in which people or groups disagree : a clash or conflict


col·​li·​sion | \kə-ˈli-zhən \

Kids Definition of collision

: an act or instance of colliding

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Comments on collision

What made you want to look up collision? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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