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

Weight also doesn’t impact its efficacy, Dr. Bullock adds. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "Here's How Emergency Contraception Actually Works," 1 Apr. 2019 Here’s a rundown of some of the things that will and won’t be impacted by a partial shutdown. Li Zhou, Vox, "What’s open — and closed — during a partial government shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 But climate change isn’t impacting everyone in the exact same way. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Report finds that climate change could cause ‘substantial damages’ to US," 23 Nov. 2018 Locked accounts are not included in the tally of monthly and daily active users that Twitter reports to Wall Street, and Twitter said the sweep would not impact those metrics, the company said. Elizabeth Dwoskin, chicagotribune.com, "Twitter begins removing millions of accounts in crackdown on fake profiles," 11 July 2018 The airport said operations were not impacted. .... Carli Teproff, miamiherald, "Half-naked man runs across Atlanta runway toward Delta plane from Miami, video shows.," 26 June 2018 Apocalypse started as a group of fewer than 10 young people fighting a developer trying to build a coal terminal that would impact working-class people, especially those of color. Isha Tobis Clarke, Teen Vogue, "What the Youth Climate Strike Felt Like as a Woman of Color," 19 Mar. 2019 In September 2018, Cooper spoke to NPR's Morning Edition about how becoming a father had impacted his career. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk's Best Parenting Quotes Will Make You Melt," 23 Feb. 2019 The German lighting maker reported a 15% drop in first-quarter profit last month, saying weak growth in China and trade disputes were impacting its business. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Some European Executives Start Cutting Costs as Economy Slows While Others Wait," 21 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The direction of the wind or the reaction of the texture of a fabric to the light can be small details that will have an impact on the final image. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "“It’s Called Ffasiwn” Is a Photography Exhibition That Challenges Assumptions About Status and Style," 25 Mar. 2019 There isn't conclusive evidence at this point that CWD could have an impact on humans. Korin Miller, SELF, "What You Need to Know About So-Called 'Zombie' Deer Disease," 20 Feb. 2019 That’s probably fine for an educational device, and will have a positive impact on battery life. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's Chromebook 315 pairs an AMD processor with a 15.6-inch display for as low as $279.99," 6 Jan. 2019 This doesn't simply have an impact on sea life and coastal communities; there are implications for every single person on the planet. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 The European Union warned Trump to assess the potential impact of abandoning a 40-year-old arms control agreement. Fox News, "Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser's Moscow talks," 23 Oct. 2018 Royal biographer Katie Nicholl detailed the impact of the interview on Will's life at school in her book, Kate: The Future Queen. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Was Reportedly "Mortified" by Princess Diana's Tell-All Interview After Her Split from Prince Charles," 23 Feb. 2019 But here’s the dilemma for Democratic presidential candidates: As the Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein points out, even when voters who identify as Democrats are told about Medicare for All’s impact on private insurance, a majority continue to favor it. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Medicare for All Is a Trap," 12 Feb. 2019 Just this past week, Prince William delivered a searing speech at the BBC headquarters, demanding that tech companies take responsibility for the impact of their platforms. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Recycles a Burgundy Skirted Suit By Paule Ka to Visit University College London," 21 Nov. 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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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)
formal : 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 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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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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