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 Mieth said fire officials were concerned about the impact of the pandemic on fire safety after more people died because of fires in April than any other April in the past decade. Charlie Mckenna, BostonGlobe.com, "No children killed by fires in 2020 in Mass.," 8 Jan. 2021 For sheer emotional tension and cinematic virtuosity, nothing that follows during the movie’s eight-month time frame quite matches the impact of this early sequence, which seems only fitting. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Vanessa Kirby gives a shattering performance in the Netflix drama ‘Pieces of a Woman’," 6 Jan. 2021 In 2019, the journal Science published two papers arguing that conservation efforts have traditionally overlooked the impact of human activity on behavioral and cultural diversity in animals. Maciek Pożoga, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Japan’s Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture," 5 Jan. 2021 Now, the retailer has announced the first tranche of those closings in a move that is gaining urgency because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Macy’s is closing 45 stores in the first wave of its turnaround plan," 5 Jan. 2021 Scorched Earth Policies From geoengineering projects proposed by researchers between 2012 and 2020 to prevent or mitigate the impact of climate change. Christopher Beha, Harpers Magazine, "Archive: 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 According to Memorial Hermann's Chief Physician Executive James McCarthy, the hospital system is now grappling with the serious impact of the recent COVID-19 surge. Alison Medley, Chron, "Shutdowns, rollbacks loom after Houston COVID-19 cases hit record high," 5 Jan. 2021 That’s one relatively straightforward way of quantifying the impact of the pandemic. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "How to Wrap Your Mind Around 350,000 Deaths," 5 Jan. 2021 When medical and other frontline workers risked their own health to support entire communities, the world watched the everyday impact of lives dedicated to service. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, "10 things we learned in 2020 about living the good life," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Not only would Sanders have the ability to keep the chamber in during the holiday week, but the move would seriously impact Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue’s campaigns in Georgia right before the runoff race. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Bernie Sanders Has Entered The Stimulus Chat," 29 Dec. 2020 Market strategists have been divided on how the addition of the famously volatile stock would impact the benchmark gauge. Fortune, "Tesla shares fall 4.5% ahead of first day in the S&P 500," 21 Dec. 2020 The restructuring is expected to impact approximately 2,900 positions globally. Catherine Roberts, Star Tribune, "3M to cut 2,900 positions next year in response to changes in global economy," 3 Dec. 2020 The inventory disruption is not expected to significantly impact customers or consumers, the company added. Anthony Macuk, oregonlive, "COVID-19 outbreak closes Frito-Lay facility in Vancouver," 2 Dec. 2020 Judge said the fact the Giants will be facing a fierce pass-rusher in Myles Garrett won’t impact his decision on whether or not to start Jones. cleveland, "Colt McCoy will start for the Giants against his former Browns team if Daniel Jones isn’t healthy," 16 Dec. 2020 Heath said Molino's decision would impact other decisions made by a team seeking to add three potential starters — one each on the defensive back line, in midfield and at striker. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Minnesota United FC standout Kevin Molino posts a farewell," 16 Dec. 2020 Debenhams said the closure does not impact Magasin du Nord, its department store chain with seven outlets in Denmark, which continues to operate independently. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "25,000 jobs at risk as Debenhams closure follows Topshop collapse," 1 Dec. 2020 The murders of the president and Tippit would impact his life forever, his daughter said. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, "Retired Dallas officer dies — and with him a firsthand memory of the JFK assassination," 28 Nov. 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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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