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

State officials recently established a $400,000 emergency loan fund to assist businesses directly impacted by the July 22 fire in downtown Natick. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "Emergency loans will assist Natick businesses impacted by fire," 7 Aug. 2019 While jokes about the game being impacted by the plague spread like, well, the plague so too did the scoring. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Five takeaways from the Colorado Rapids infectious offensive outburst against Montreal," 4 Aug. 2019 The Texans on Sunday cut the former University of Texas All-American and Doak Walker Award winner, a reaction to two seasons impacted by a major injury during his rookie year and concerns about his work habits and punctuality. Aaron Wilson, ExpressNews.com, "Texans sour on D’Onta Foreman, give RB his release," 4 Aug. 2019 Consumers impacted by the data breach may receive up to 10 years of free monitoring of their credit reports. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "That $125 payment from Equifax? You shouldn't count on it," 31 July 2019 Last week, the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with Equifax to pay $125 to U.S. citizens impacted by the 2017 attack, totaling up to $425 million in restitution. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, "The Capital One Hack Probably Put Your Data on the Dark Web," 30 July 2019 Elsewhere, the electronic, products and solutions division saw a fall in profits impacted by foreign exchange, while financial services recorded higher revenue and operating income. Gavin J. Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sony Pictures Swings to Quarterly Profit of $3.7 Million," 30 July 2019 According to Department of Health figures, at least 12 of the adult homes impacted by the court settlement have enough ALP beds to be exempt from Justice Center oversight. Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, "After Failing Mentally Ill New Yorkers, Adult Homes Get Second Chance," 30 July 2019 Trans people, like four congresswomen, like the undocumented immigrants living in our communities, and like all of the Black and brown people impacted by the racist rhetoric seeping out of Sweet Potato Saddam, are human beings. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: It Doesn’t Matter If Trump’s Outbursts Are A ‘Distraction’ When His Targets Are Placed In Danger," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Immediate impact is especially expected from the two five-star big men, but all four will likely see the floor in Year 1 as Hopkins finds his new starting five—especially while Quade Green waits to become eligible until the end of the fall semester. Emily Caron, SI.com, "Class Evaluation: Hopkins's Recruiting Efforts Pay Off for Washington in 2019," 8 Aug. 2019 Nonetheless the new tariffs’ direct impact could reduce China’s growth by at least 0.3 percentage points in 2020, according to UBS, to below 6% for the first time since 1990. The Economist, "The trade war escalates, and the fog of war descends," 8 Aug. 2019 The most recent of the U.N. climate reports said humanity has a bit more than a decade to enact aggressive carbon reduction policies before irreversible catastrophic impacts begin. Dave Levitan, The New Republic, "Reformed Climate Deniers Don’t Deserve Redemption," 8 Aug. 2019 Is there a mental health impact on humans from playing videogames? Noam Cohen, WIRED, "Shoot-'Em-Up Videogames Don't Warp Minds—Big Tech Does," 8 Aug. 2019 While Alaskans are the most dramatically affected by the melting ice, the rest of the world will also feel some impacts. Madeline Fitzgerald, Time, "Parts of Alaska Have No Sea Ice For the First Time Ever As Temperatures in the Region Hit Record Highs," 7 Aug. 2019 The impact drove Meadows’ vehicle into a bridge support and pinned her in the wreckage. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Trucker was ‘distracted by electronic device’ in crash that killed Auburn University student, indictment states," 7 Aug. 2019 The group considered the number of citizens who would benefit from a wall, along with cost, feasibility and impact of construction and identified four segments on the 210 Freeway’s north side. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada officials ID 4 new sound walls to build with hoped-for $11M," 7 Aug. 2019 Venter adds that his team needs longer-term data to assess impacts on blood pressure and levels of lipids and glucose in the blood. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Popular anti-HIV drugs result in ‘10 years of weight gain in 2 years’ for some women," 7 Aug. 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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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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