1

impact

verb im·pact \ im-ˈpakt \
|Updated on: 16 Jun 2018

Definition of impact

impacted; impacting; impacts
1 a : to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
b : to press together
2 a : to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on
b : to strike forcefully; also : to cause to strike forcefully
1 : to have an impact often used with on
2 : to impinge or make contact especially forcefully

Examples of impact in a Sentence

  1. No one is sure how these changes will impact our relations with other countries.

  2. Both events negatively impacted her life.

  3. The tax increase will impact low-income families the most.

  4. The poor economy is impacting on small businesses.

  5. A crater was formed at the point where the meteor impacted the planet's surface.

Recent Examples of impact from the Web

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.

Is impact a 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.

Origin and Etymology of impact

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

impact Synonyms


2

impact

noun im·pact \ ˈim-ˌpakt \

Definition of impact

1 a : 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

Examples of impact in a Sentence

  1. No one could have survived such an impact.

  2. These warnings have been heard so often that they have lost their impact.

  3. The book had a huge impact when it first came out.

  4. We need to be concerned about the environmental impacts of all this construction.

  5. She expects to make an immediate impact at work.

Recent Examples of impact from the Web

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.

First Known Use of impact

1781

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Synonym Discussion of impact

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


IMPACT Defined for English Language Learners

impact

Definition of impact for English Language Learners

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

  • : to hit (something) with great force


impact

Definition of impact for English Language Learners

  • : the act or force of one thing hitting another

  • : a powerful or major influence or effect


IMPACT Defined for Kids

1

impact

noun im·pact \ ˈim-ˌpakt \

Definition of impact for Students

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.

2

impact

verb im·pact \ im-ˈpakt \

Definition of impact for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to pay off by making regular payments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!