impact

noun
im·​pact | \ ˈim-ˌpakt How to pronounce impact (audio) \
plural impacts

Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 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 a study outlining the potential environmental impacts of the construction project

impact

verb
im·​pact | \ im-ˈpakt How to pronounce impact (audio) \
impacted; impacting; impacts

Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

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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?

Noun

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

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. 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each story is sandwiched between a non-fiction introduction and an epilogue that enable the reader to relate the likely trajectory of technology’s evolution to its impact on our social fabric. John Kao, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Monsanto has attracted criticism over the years for its impact on the climate and health. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2021 While many doctors are working to understand the physiology of long COVID, the Brown group is focusing on its social and economic impact. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Sep. 2021 The town hall was the first in a series of five Facebook Live segments, presented by AARP of Alabama and AL.com, that aim to answer audience questions about the coronavirus and its impact on different aspects of Alabamians’ lives. al, 8 Sep. 2021 However, the surge of infections related to the Delta variant and its impact on schools and Americans’ general sense of safety in the workplace could delay significant improvement in filling positions. Fortune, 8 Sep. 2021 Though his seat at the bar sits empty now, his impact in the days following his death has been felt across Kentucky. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, 8 Sep. 2021 Repairing nature is key to preventing the next disaster, or at least to diminishing its impact. Thomas Crowther And Lucy Mulenckei, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021 But its impact was felt everywhere, especially in a city that for years had blithely ridden a wave of wealth and unquestioned power. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some of these changes would impact Apple more than Google, which allows Android users to download competing app stores. Anna Edgerton, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2021 How would that impact the trajectory of this country? Adam Brewster, CBS News, 8 Sep. 2021 The lawsuit won't impact any of the payments made by the federal government during the coronavirus pandemic, because those payments have already been made. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Sep. 2021 Phillips can impact — which is the key word here — the game in a multitude of ways. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 7 Sep. 2021 The majority of the heat will impact the desert Southwest. Kelly Mccleary And Alta Spells, CNN, 6 Sep. 2021 Any mandates requiring a minimum period of software updates in the region would impact the entire world. Chris Smith, BGR, 6 Sep. 2021 The end of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will impact 3.3 million workers. Zack Friedman, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 And for people whose livelihoods depend in part on streaming, hate raids can impact income, too. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 2 Sep. 2021

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

Noun

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

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

imp

impact

impact bomb

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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

noun

English Language Learners Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or force of one thing hitting another
: a powerful or major influence or effect

impact

verb

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

: to have a strong and often bad effect on (something or someone) : affect
: to hit (something) with great force

impact

noun
im·​pact | \ ˈim-ˌpakt How to pronounce impact (audio) \

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 How to pronounce impact (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on impact

Nglish: Translation of impact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impact for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about impact

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