impact

verb
im·​pact | \ im-ˈpakt \
impacted; impacting; impacts

Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
b : to press together
2a : to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on
b : to strike forcefully also : to cause to strike forcefully

intransitive verb

1 : to have an impact often used with on
2 : to impinge or make contact especially forcefully

impact

noun
im·​pact | \ ˈim-ˌpakt \

Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an impinging or striking especially of one body against another
b : a forceful contact or onset also : the impetus communicated in or as if in such a contact
2 : the force of impression of one thing on another : a significant or major effect the impact of science on our society an environmental impact study

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Choose the Right Synonym for impact

Noun

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

Is impact a verb?

Verb

You may occasionally run into claims that impact is not a verb, or that it is somehow ill-suited to a role in this part of speech. Not only is that not the case, but the verb form of impact is much older than the noun form. It is possible that the word started attracting more displeasure when it began being widely used in a figurative sense as a transitive verb ("we expect the recession to impact the company"). The word is certainly a verb, although before using it in this manner in writing it is worth considering your audience, and whether members of it are likely to consider this use problematic.

Examples of impact in a Sentence

Verb

No one is sure how these changes will impact our relations with other countries. Both events negatively impacted her life. The tax increase will impact low-income families the most. The poor economy is impacting on small businesses. A crater was formed at the point where the meteor impacted the planet's surface.

Noun

No one could have survived such an impact. These warnings have been heard so often that they have lost their impact. The book had a huge impact when it first came out. We need to be concerned about the environmental impacts of all this construction. She expects to make an immediate impact at work.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, stepped up patrols around its facility in December to mitigate the risk of drone disruptions that impacted Gatwick at the time. Robert Wall, WSJ, "After Massive Disruptions, U.K. Airports Bring Out the Big Guns to Stop Drones," 4 Jan. 2019 And if the mere knowledge of risk itself compounds that risk—if such knowledge becomes an additional risk factor that impacts health—could doctors withhold such knowledge from patients? Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Genetic information as self-fulfilling prophecy," 17 Dec. 2018 Or if your period is irregular, a fertility assessment might help shed light on conditions like PCOS that could impact your baby-making plans. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Do You Need a Fertility Test—Even If You’re Not Trying to Get Pregnant?," 13 Dec. 2018 Zeeck’s departure is the latest in a series of recent newsroom management changes by McClatchy that have impacted several of its newspapers. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "The News Tribune publisher David Zeeck leaves amid McClatchy shakeups," 12 Dec. 2018 Talk about the divide and conquer, how that impacts things. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 Systems compile historical and weather data and consider holidays, along with other high-traffic events such as sporting events or conventions — anything that might impact demand. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why airlines are allowed to overbook their flights," 14 Nov. 2018 The uncomfortable truth is that Australia could prevent all pollution and fishing activities that impact the reef and the corals could still die nonetheless. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Things Got So Bad for the Great Barrier Reef," 25 Oct. 2018 More than a century ago, Sears, Roebuck & Co. sent and shipped entire home kits across the country, a then-revolutionary service that would impact not just retailing, but home design and construction. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How Sears Kit Homes changed housing," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then the chair subwoofer handles rear-facing events, plus any large-scale impacts (i.e. explosions). Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 This feels like an indulgence, but it's made such a huge impact on my closet. Dawn Nadeau, Good Housekeeping, "How I Totally Changed My Life to Finally Get Organized," 28 Dec. 2018 Such an order would primarily impact Huawei and ZTE — both Chinese companies, and two of the largest manufacturers of telecom equipment — and have a significant impact on the ongoing rollout of 5G network infrastructure. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "New Trump order may officially ban Huawei and ZTE from 5G rollout, per report," 27 Dec. 2018 And this tiny lifestyle change makes a huge impact, as hand-washing dishes requires about 27 gallons of water per load while an energy efficient dishwasher only uses 3 gallons of water per load. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "The Number One Reason Not To Pre-Rinse Your Dirty Dishes," 18 Dec. 2018 Though the layered look is firmly entrenched in Hollywood, the fashion world has lately been catching on to the neat, graphic impact of the blunt cut. Eviana Hartman, Vogue, "The 19 Best Blunt Cuts of All Time, From Jane Birkin to Gwyneth Paltrow," 26 Dec. 2018 Despite the economists’ warnings, some Brexit bulls remain optimistic that in the end an agreement will be ratified that cushions the economic impact of the withdrawal. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "Brexit Brings Out the Contrarian Bulls," 20 Dec. 2018 Further Reading The economic impacts of climate change could limit climate change In the US, cheap natural gas has been a primary driver in coal's fall from grace. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "King Coal isn’t dead—he’s just been exiled from the US," 20 Dec. 2018 The impacts of climate change, however, are not felt equally by all Malawians. Mélissa Godin, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Is Creating a New Atmosphere of Gender Inequality for Women in Malawi," 20 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impact.' 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 impact

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impact

Verb

Latin impactus, past participle of impingere to push against — more at impinge

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Learn More about impact

Dictionary Entries near impact

imonium

imou pine

imp

impact

impact bomb

impacted

impacted area

Statistics for impact

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impact

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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More Definitions for impact

impact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to have a strong and often bad effect on (something or someone)

: to hit (something) with great force

impact

noun

English Language Learners Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or force of one thing hitting another

: a powerful or major influence or effect

impact

noun
im·​pact | \ ˈim-ˌpakt \

Kids Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a striking of one body against another : collision The meteor's impact left a crater.
2 : a strong effect He warned of the economic impact.

impact

verb
im·​pact | \ im-ˈpakt \
impacted; impacting

Kids Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have a strong and often bad effect on This change will impact all schools.
2 : to hit with great force

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More from Merriam-Webster on impact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impact

Spanish Central: Translation of impact

Nglish: Translation of impact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impact for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about impact

Comments on impact

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