impact

noun
im·​pact | \ ˈim-ˌpakt How to pronounce impact (audio) \
plural impacts

Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 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 a study outlining the potential environmental impacts of the construction project

impact

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

Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on
b : to strike forcefully also : to cause to strike forcefully
2a : 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

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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?

Noun

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But each time, USC has decided to keep him – and, if anything, the financial impact of COVID-19 will only simplify that process. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Too big to buy out: 7 college football coaches whose contracts could be a saving grace," 14 Oct. 2020 The duo say the full impact of COVID-19 will cost the United States $16 trillion, or four times the damage done by the Great Recession. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Earnings season is here. Will companies deliver on the hype?," 13 Oct. 2020 The profound impact of the pandemic is still unraveling across the country and some are warning that, as coronavirus cases begin surging once again, relief for the most vulnerable is desperately needed. Ed Lavandera, CNN, "Threat of homelessness piles more pressure on pandemic front lines," 12 Oct. 2020 What financial impact has the loss of the 2020 season had on operation? Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Hartford Yard Goats’ success sandwiched by two lost seasons," 10 Oct. 2020 The impact of racial segregation and housing discrimination on urban ecosystems in the United States has made these communities hotter and more vulnerable to pest species, such as rats. Meagan Cantwell, Science | AAAS, "How systemic racism shaped the ecosystems of U.S. cities," 9 Oct. 2020 Friday’s award comes as the WFP warns of the threat the coronavirus pandemic will have on the developing world, as the economic impact of the virus pushes millions into poverty and disrupts food-supply networks. James Hookway, WSJ, "Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to the World Food Program," 9 Oct. 2020 The impact of the crash sent Freitag’s vehicle into a light pole and the other vehicle into a nearby parking lot. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Charges: 'I hurt people,' says felon who killed Fergus Falls couple while fleeing deputies," 8 Oct. 2020 The impact of the virus varies greatly from country to country. Anchorage Daily News, "US medical supply chains failed, and COVID deaths followed," 7 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Build partnerships to reduce health care disparities, impact social determinants of health and create more inclusive communities. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Central Indiana corporate and sports executives take pledge to eliminate racial barriers," 9 Oct. 2020 September numbers are down 40% from August to September, and the number of new listings also slid 72%, from 39 to 11, which could impact sales volumes in the coming months. James Tarmy, Bloomberg.com, "Palm Beach Can Learn Something From Aspen’s Real Estate Boom," 7 Oct. 2020 New research indicates that the use of marijuana before surgery may impact patients’ recovery process, causing their pain level to significantly worse. Maria Loreto, chicagotribune.com, "Marijuana use increases pain after surgery, according to study," 7 Oct. 2020 The storm is forecast to become a major Category 3 hurricane Tuesday and impact the U.S. Gulf Coast by the end of the week. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Hurricane Delta rapidly intensifies, likely to hit U.S. Gulf Coast late this week," 6 Oct. 2020 Pelosi said Trump’s COVID diagnosis could impact the ongoing relief talks. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Second stimulus check: Will Trump’s COVID hospitalization impact payments?," 5 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile, the stark reminder of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 208,000 people in the U.S., might ultimately impact voters' decisions, Jewett said. Steven Lemongello, orlandosentinel.com, "President Trump’s positive coronavirus test upends presidential campaign in Florida," 2 Oct. 2020 Snow also wrote that the evidence in the case did not show that issues like slow mail service disproportionately impact Navajo voters instead or rural voters more broadly. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Judge rules against Navajo Nation voter lawsuit to force Arizona to count late-arriving mail-in ballots," 26 Sep. 2020 InsideClimate News is in the midst of a series that analyzes how key Senate races around the country will impact the environment. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: What will a map of America look like in 2050?," 18 Sep. 2020

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

Noun

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for impact

Verb

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

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Learn More about impact

Time Traveler for impact

Time Traveler

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

noun
How to pronounce impact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or force of one thing hitting another
: a powerful or major influence or effect

impact

verb
How to pronounce impact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a strong and often bad effect on (something or someone)
formal : to hit (something) with great force

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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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).

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