impact

1 of 2

noun

im·​pact ˈim-ˌpakt How to pronounce impact (audio)
plural impacts
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
a study outlining the potential environmental impacts of the construction project

impact

2 of 2

verb

im·​pact im-ˈpakt How to pronounce impact (audio)
impacted; impacting; impacts

transitive verb

1
a
: to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on
b
: to strike forcefully
also : to cause to strike forcefully
2
a
: to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
b
: to press together

intransitive verb

1
: to have an impact
often used with on
2
: to impinge or make contact especially forcefully

Did you know?

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.

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

Examples of impact in a Sentence

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. 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This lodge designed to have minimum impact on the forest now exhibits a Japanese-Zulu design concept—pairing architecture that’s inspired by Japanese minimalism with elements of Zulu storytelling and artisanship—along with references to the surrounding nature also brought into the interiors. Lauren Jade Hill, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 But the weather expected later Monday and into Tuesday could have a greater impact, the NWS said. Harry Harris, The Mercury News, 19 Feb. 2024 The ‘Trump factor’ Observers say that against this backdrop, Wang’s apparent attempts to dial down European concerns about China’s position relative to the war may have little impact within the EU. Simone McCarthy, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 There is little doubt about how much of a visual impact the Sphere has had on Las Vegas. Ryan Slattery, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2024 All were founded by talents from the Cape Malay community, a South African ethnic group with a huge impact on the city's cultural life. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Feb. 2024 Yes, British and Irish performers and projects have a certain advantage here, and the final outcomes don’t always have a transformative impact on the Oscar race—but the results are still fascinating to watch nonetheless. Find the full list of winners from the 2024 BAFTAs, below. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 18 Feb. 2024 The equity program, which city officials believe is the first of its kind in the nation, was prompted by concerns that the city’s policy on private donations was essentially creating a double impact. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2024 But the 1918 eclipse had a profound impact on the Bradley County town of Hermitage. Bill Bowden, arkansasonline.com, 18 Feb. 2024
Verb
Part of the job of company management is to foresee future risks that may impact their business. Zain Jaffer, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The disease can severely impact everyday functions such a sleeping, bathing, and walking, and is known to result high rates of depression and anxiety. Kansas City Star, 20 Feb. 2024 For You Magnesium is key for many bodily processes, and not getting enough of the mineral can negatively impact your health. Maggie O'Neill, Verywell Health, 20 Feb. 2024 The film doesn’t shy from the tense conversations between Abraham and Adra about how racist policies impact their lives. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 Here are five of the ways El Niño has been impacting the continent. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2024 Bryan previously spoke on the stress of child stardom, and how his teenage transition from Home Improvement impacted his sense of self. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 19 Feb. 2024 Common Pests & Plant Diseases The nematode is a pest that can impact a fig tree's longevity by attacking the roots, eventually stunting growth and the amount of fruit. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 In the greater Lake Tahoe area, a warning of a storm that could impact travel remains in effect from 4 p.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Wednesday. Grace Hase, The Mercury News, 18 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impact.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of impact was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near impact

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

impact

1 of 2 verb
im·​pact im-ˈpakt How to pronounce impact (audio)
1
: to have a strong effect on
volcanic ash impacted weather conditions worldwide
2
: to hit or cause to hit with force

impact

2 of 2 noun
im·​pact ˈim-ˌpakt How to pronounce impact (audio)
1
: a striking together of two bodies : collision
2
: a forceful effect
the impact of pollution on the environment

More from Merriam-Webster on impact

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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