im·​pact | \im-ˈpakt \
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


im·​pact | \ˈim-ˌpakt \

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for impact

Synonyms: Verb

bed, embed (also imbed), enroot, entrench (also intrench), fix, implant, ingrain (also engrain), lodge, root

Synonyms: Noun

bump, collision, concussion, crash, impingement, jar, jolt, jounce, kick, shock, slam, smash, strike, wallop

Antonyms: Verb

dislodge, root (out), uproot

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of impact in a Sentence


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.


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

To see how burnout and/or workplace safety might impact medical errors, the team surveyed physicians engaged in active clinical practice in 2014. Alan Mozes, CBS News, "Doctor burnout behind many medical errors, study finds," 10 July 2018 The outcome will be gathering a better understanding of how natural systems change from year to year and how those changes impact the atmosphere and atmospheric composition. Emily Williams,, "BU professor granted almost $1 million to study air pollution," 9 July 2018 Who are the people who write the reviews, cover the red carpets and attend the film festivals, and how do their perspectives impact how movies are discussed and received? Los Angeles Times | L.a. Times Studios,, "Digging into the debate about diversity in entertainment journalism," 6 July 2018 In the week ahead, investors will begin hearing how the trade trouble could impact the operations of corporate America. Tom Hudson, miamiherald, "Earnings energy taxed by tariffs," 5 July 2018 High temperatures can alter how alcohol impacts your body Jacob Laxen Dangerously hot weather has invaded southern and central Wisconsin, where an excessive heat warning is posted through much of the weekend. Joe Taschler And James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dangerous heat arrives in Wisconsin; heat index tops 106 in Milwaukee, 114 in LaCrosse," 29 June 2018 The results, which have not yet been reported, will offer the best look yet at how space impacts the body’s bugs, including downstream effects on metabolism and immune function. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "NASA's Astro-Mice Will Test What Space Does to Your Gut," 28 June 2018 Read on to see how the planets could impact your summer plans. Bryanna Brown,, "Your Sun-Drenched Summer Horoscope Is Here," 18 June 2018 As if learning about the generosity of spirit isn’t enough, Gia will discover how thoughtfulness impacts those affected by tragic loss. Lynn Petrak,, "Petrak: La Grange third-grader's lemonade stand raises money for families of fallen police," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The inspector general ultimately found no evidence that any anti-Trump bias among several FBI agents made a significant impact on prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton email probe. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Trump says FBI's Strzok, Page getting 'cold feet' ahead of Capitol Hill sessions," 10 July 2018 By any regard, with all his world titles, heat wins and championship victories, his legacy in the sport of surfing is already secure, but Slater hasn’t been content to just make a lasting impact in the water. Hemal Jhaveri, For The Win, "How Kelly Slater took surfing out of the ocean and onto dry land," 3 July 2018 Bastian said the company has had early success in covering higher fuel costs, offsetting two-thirds of the impact of the fuel cost increase in the June quarter. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Delta to trim growth plans for flights this fall," 13 July 2018 This was an extremely long opinion that was full of legalese and short on practical understanding of the impact of unlimited money on political campaigns. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "The ‘cloistered’ Harvard-Yale law monopoly on the Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 But what kind of impact have free agents made for the Wings in years past? Taylor Gribble, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings in free agency: How have recent signings panned out?," 10 July 2018 The National Bureau of Statistics announced that the consumer price index was 1.9 per cent in June from a year earlier, up from 1.8 percent in May. There was little indication of the impact of rising U.S. tariffs on Chinese products. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Asian markets mirror optimism on Wall Street," 10 July 2018 His insertion didn’t have much of an impact on a Seattle squad that entered Saturday sitting 22nd out of 23 MLS franchises in shots recorded on goal. Owen Pence,, "Revolution, Sounders end in scoreless draw," 8 July 2018 In response to that incident, as well as a general protest of the impact of gentrification on the area, hundreds of Black locals showed up at the same park a few days later to fire up their grills and throw their own party. Paula Rogo,, "'BBQ Becky' Called the Cops on This Black Man. Now He Is Running for City Council," 6 July 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


1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for impact


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

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Learn More about impact

Dictionary Entries near impact


imou pine



impact bomb


impacted area

Statistics for impact

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impact

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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More Definitions for impact



English Language Learners Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

: to hit (something) with great force



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


im·​pact | \ˈim-ˌpakt \

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.


im·​pact | \im-ˈpakt \
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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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