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

The textured surface and low water uptake will also help optimise the performance, as the ball will hardly be impacted by external factors like rain or snow. SI.com, "Champions League: adidas Unveil Official Ball for 2019/20 Group Stage Games," 17 Sep. 2019 But, last school year, parents attended board meetings to share their opposition to the collegiate calendar, stating that end-of-semester events, like holiday concerts, would be negatively impacted if finals are held before winter break. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Glenbrook School District 225 board approves academic calendar that includes final exams after winter break," 17 Sep. 2019 Most Democrats are more concerned, while Republicans and independents are less impacted by the report. CBS News, "Most Americans say climate change should be addressed now — CBS News poll," 15 Sep. 2019 Five million barrels per day of crude production have been impacted after fires raged at the sites, one of them the world's largest oil production facility, people with knowledge of the kingdom's operations said. John Defterios, CNN, "Drone strikes knock out half of Saudi oil capacity, 5 million barrels a day," 14 Sep. 2019 Leonel Rondon had many friends on our team and the kids were impacted by that tragedy. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 13 Sep. 2019 But the Angels determined the 25-year-old’s offense was not impacted by the knee issue. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Shohei Ohtani’s knee surgery will not delay his return to mound for Angels," 12 Sep. 2019 But all sunscreens without an expiration date have been proven effective for at least three years—not exactly three years—so its time on the shelf won’t necessarily impact its efficacy. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Use Expired Sunscreen?," 12 Sep. 2019 Housing, immigration status and the means to leave are all examples of how vulnerable communities are more heavily impacted by extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent and more severe as a result of climate change. Phil Mckenna, sun-sentinel.com, "A shantytown’s warning about climate change and poverty from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

None of this is to play down Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico or gloss over the fact that the storm claimed some 3,000 lives. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Puerto Rico bounces back from storms, protests as prime tourist destination," 17 Sep. 2019 The massive storm brushed past the East Coast earlier this month and beach runs were halted until conservation teams could safely survey Dorian’s impact on the marked nests. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, "Hundreds of sea turtle nests lost after Hurricane Dorian —‘It could have been worse’," 17 Sep. 2019 Kocherla is published and is a corresponding author on over 25 publications in journals with high impact factor in the field of personalized medicine and genetics and a co-inventor on a patent. courant.com, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 16 Sep. 2019 Former five-star receiver Mark Pope had his first impact game, leading UM in receiving with 92 yards on four catches, one a 54-yard deep ball from Williams. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Just what they needed: Miami Hurricanes win home opener convincingly over Bethune-Cookman," 15 Sep. 2019 The Plume Labs Flow is a portable air quality sensor that monitors airborne chemical levels and particulate matter both indoors and out, which is really interesting to see how living in an armpit of poor outdoor air pollution impacts the inside air. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Air pollution inside my house could kill me. What are you breathing in at your home?," 15 Sep. 2019 Lasting impact Martin is now interim CEO after Hawthornthwaite stepped back in June for health reasons. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 Japan’s impact is felt most keenly in corporate-credit markets in America and Europe. The Economist, "How rock-bottom bond yields spread from Japan to the rest of the world," 14 Sep. 2019 There are scientists trying to make zero-impact luxury fuzz, but the technology isn’t there yet—even though fashion pioneers like McCartney and H&M are making progress. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should Fur Be Illegal?," 13 Sep. 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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