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

If winds push the smoke northeast, areas along the Interstate 40, including Winslow and Holbrook, could be impacted. And, azcentral, "Here's the status of 5 wildfires burning in Arizona right now," 11 June 2019 On Saturday morning, PG&E conducted its first public safety power shutoff of the year in Napa, Sonoma and Yolo counties where about 1,700 customers were impacted. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "PG&E transformer sparked fire on Mount Tamalpais, fire officials say," 11 June 2019 Who’s Affected? CBP has given precious little information about how many people were impacted, a troubling lack of disclosure. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hack Brief: Hackers Stole a Border Agency Database of Traveler Photos," 10 June 2019 The last part of O’Rourke’s proposal explicitly calls for providing support to the communities that will be most impacted by the effects of climate change and invest in climate readiness. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Where the 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on Climate Change," 6 June 2019 Americans with family in Cuba are not impacted by the new restrictions. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "It Just Got a Lot Harder for Americans to Travel to Cuba. Here's What to Know," 5 June 2019 Hundreds of students were impacted with many having to relocated to other schools to finish their studies. Christopher Magan, Twin Cities, "Globe University, Minnesota School of Business students should get loan refunds, appeals court rules," 3 June 2019 His opinions and his demands and stuff like that, I’m not impacted by that one bit. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Duke Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. reported for minicamp today," 3 June 2019 The lawsuit also seeks to require the company to investigate and identify the extent of contamination in all areas that may have been impacted, and to remediate land and water contamination. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "State and Lake County file suit to ensure cleanup following Waukegan factory explosion," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The two shared a passion for hip-hop, which hadn’t yet made a strong impact in the South, and formed their own rap duo, 8Ball & MJG. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al.com, "Here’s the lineup for Birmingham’s Freedom Fest music, civil rights festival," 12 June 2019 His high school career ended earlier than expected, but Incontrera is certain Kelley left a lasting impact on the program and the school. Tim Schwartz, baltimoresun.com, "Kelley makes Marriotts Ridge history as Howard County boys lacrosse Player of the Year," 11 June 2019 The defensive end is where Briscoe made the biggest impact. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Isaiah Briscoe helped turn Magic’s defense, season around," 11 June 2019 There are many NGOs operating in this field, but most work in silos and, hence, fail to make a significant impact. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Meet the mentor of startups working with differently-abled people," 10 June 2019 This has the potential to make a real strong impact not only on the downtown community but the lives of people who are suffering on the streets. oregonlive.com, "Multnomah County hopes to create alternative to jail, ERs for mentally ill homeless people," 10 June 2019 But getting to interact with my [LGBTQ] community—and hear how the show has made a positive impact or changed the conversation with their family—has been remarkable. Patrick Gomez, EW.com, "Dan Levy dishes on Schitt's Creek's final season, LGBTQ representation, and drag queens," 9 June 2019 As per usual, the Cambridge children made a big impact at the event, with Prince Louis stealing the show, and Princess Charlotte looking endlessly cute. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George Repeats His Bored AF Pose from Trooping the Colour 2017," 8 June 2019 The responsibility also provides opportunity to make a real and significant impact in the lives of hundreds of kids in our community. Dominik Dumancic/share, Cincinnati.com, "GO Pantry summer food drive helps children in Northern Kentucky," 6 June 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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