impact

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

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 According to scientific studies, essential oils have the ability to interact with the brain and the nervous system to impact mood and health. Allure, "19 of the Best Essential Oil Diffusers to Make Your Home Smell Amazing," 23 Nov. 2019 But while dating apps have positively impacted the romance landscape for many of us, social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram might be better for vetting. Brianna Holt, Quartzy, "Twitter and Instagram are arguably the best dating apps around," 22 Nov. 2019 To reduce VOCs enough to impact air quality would require around 10 plants per square foot. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Which houseplants should you buy to purify air? None of them.," 14 Nov. 2019 Over the years, having too much glucose in the blood can begin to impact nerve function and eventually cause nerve damage, called neuropathy, Dr. Hatipoglu says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "10 Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar to Be Aware Of," 6 Nov. 2019 Because of that, teenagers and young adults are more likely to be impacted by stress, anxiety, depression and peer pressure. Freep.com, "She was prostituting, pregnant, doing drugs by 14. Now, Taylor girl fights to save her own life.," 1 Nov. 2019 Cognitive functions impacted may include processing speed and learning among others. Arash Javanbakht, The Conversation, "Where is my Xanax Rx? Why your doctor may be concerned about prescribing benzodiazepines," 18 Oct. 2019 The allegations about Hunter Biden could, indeed, impact the primary race. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Joe Biden Is Right About The New York Times," 13 Oct. 2019 The arctic blast in Michigan is part of a larger system that will impact the Midwest, Northeast and even parts of southern states like Alabama, Georgia and Texas. Amy Huschka, Detroit Free Press, "20 inches of snow is now forecast for the Thumb, 4-6" for metro Detroit," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both defensive end Chase Young and quarterback Justin Fields turned in high-impact performances on the big stage as the Buckeyes staved off Penn State. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Heisman Watch: LSU's Joe Burrow leads, while Chase Young of Ohio State moves up to third," 27 Nov. 2019 The new law, enacted March 22, impacts first- and second-degree felonies that don’t carry life sentences, such as armed robbery, felonious assault and abduction. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Hamilton County judge: Reagan Tokes Act is unconstitutional, disregards 'a judge's power'," 27 Nov. 2019 Given the difficulty in designing definitive nutrition studies and tabulating lifetime environmental impacts, the debate over the medical and environmental health of meat consumption is far from over. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "How pro-meat Twitter scrambled the rollout of the planetary health diet," 26 Nov. 2019 But some property owners and scientists insist there are harmful impacts, especially when the rockweed is removed by machine, rather than by hand. BostonGlobe.com, "Clash along bucolic Maine coast erupts over rockweed - The Boston Globe," 26 Nov. 2019 Becker conjectures that pollution is being preferentially ejected by impacts, regardless of whether the ice is reattaching itself in this manner. Quanta Magazine, "Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?," 26 Nov. 2019 Indeed, those who drop a bundle on such a gadget rightfully expect their lives to be enhanced significantly, somehow. AirPods and the Apple Watch have had a major impact on my existence, for sure. Julio Ojeda-zapata, Twin Cities, "Achieving marital harmony and physical fitness with Apple wearable gear," 26 Nov. 2019 The Miami Dolphins’ young, developing, hoping-to-make-an-impact group of secondary players began this past week, knowing the colossal task at hand. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ secondary learns from tough outing against Browns standouts Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.," 24 Nov. 2019 The attorney general's decision is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Netanyahu's standing within his ruling Likud, but on Thursday there were already indications that a leadership challenge was underway. Steve Hendrix, Anchorage Daily News, "Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust," 21 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for impact

Time Traveler

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

verb
How to pronounce impact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

impact

noun
How to pronounce impact (audio)

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 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

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