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 The study comes after a week of questions about how the president described the virus early on, but partisanship means this hasn't had a lot of impact on the already partisan views of his approach. Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, CBS News, "Florida race tightens and Trump has edge over Biden in Texas — Battleground Tracker poll," 20 Sep. 2020 As a physician at a Boston community health center that serves a large minority population, Dr. Julita Mir has had a close-up view of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact, even beyond the obvious. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "A fall 'twindemic'? As US nears 200,000 coronavirus deaths, experts fear COVID-19, flu may be a deadly combo," 19 Sep. 2020 Each death is a sober reminder of the widespread impact of the pandemic. Andy Slavitt, Star Tribune, "Minnesota will soon be the land of 2,000 COVID deaths," 18 Sep. 2020 On Monday, more than 200 partners across the country participated in the largest single-day effort of community impact ever undertaken by college football. Dallas News, "Cotton Bowl Foundation and College Football Playoff Foundation share love — and money — with local teachers," 17 Sep. 2020 It’s just one example of the profound impact the pandemic is having, not just on governments and national economies, but on working people around the globe. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "Home-work: Not just kids’ stuff," 16 Sep. 2020 In the face of severe impact on the lives of vulnerable members of our community, NWACC has a greater responsibility, now more than ever, to be more innovative and more responsive to the changing needs of its students. Arkansas Online, "Three vie for NWACC Board of Trustees position," 16 Sep. 2020 The scale of agricultural impact could be reduced if people ate less animal protein, the report notes. Katya Zimmer, National Geographic, "The world missed a critical deadline to safeguard biodiversity, UN report says," 15 Sep. 2020 School officials, meanwhile, said the full measure of the pandemic’s impact on the budget there won’t be known until student attendance counts, held in February and September next year. Amy Lavalley, chicagotribune.com, "Municipal, school 2021 budgets win first reading OK in Valparaiso; next vote expected Sept. 28," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This issue will need to be examined with fresh eyes and new predictive models for how building dormitories would impact enrollment and student success. Arkansas Online, "Three vie for NWACC Board of Trustees position," 16 Sep. 2020 But the Secretary of State’s office told election officials the court’s ruling would not impact that deadline. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Texas Supreme Court says 3 Green Party candidates must be added back to November ballot," 15 Sep. 2020 Butler said receiving a flu shot is more important than ever in order to prevent a flu outbreak on top of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which would impact hospital bed space. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Flu season and COVID-19 may begin to collide as students go back to school," 10 Sep. 2020 The latest measures, which would impact about 380,000 restaurants, come as the Asian nation has seen of cases in the triple digits for the past two weeks, peaking at 441 on Thursday. Shinhye Kang, Bloomberg.com, "Seoul to Restrict Restaurants and Cafes to Stem Virus Resurgence," 29 Aug. 2020 The border agency said the blasting would only impact areas that had already been disturbed during the construction of the vehicle barriers that the bollards replaced. Rafael Carranza, The Arizona Republic, "O'odham members block border wall assembly site to protest desecration of tribal lands," 27 Aug. 2020 The Board of Regents will hold a special meeting Monday to consider Gabel’s proposal, which would impact students at the U’s Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester campuses. Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune, "University of Minnesota president proposes delaying students' return to campus," 21 Aug. 2020 There wasn’t the political dynamics that would impact some SEC schools in specific states. oregonlive, "Oregon State President F. King Alexander, a former college athlete, goes deep on future of Beavers athletics: Q&A," 17 Aug. 2020 The claim: Joe Biden supports a school choice ban that would impact 74,000 Wisconsin students. Eric Litke, USA TODAY, "Fact check: No, Joe Biden can't ban school choice in Wisconsin, though he opposes vouchers," 15 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for impact

Time Traveler

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

noun
How to pronounce impact (audio)

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
How to pronounce impact (audio)

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

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

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Comments on impact

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

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