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 Polls taken in recent days show the outcome of a March election would be similar to results from the previous two elections, although several events expected in the coming weeks could impact the outcome. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "After two elections this year, Israeli leaders have less than 48 hours to stop a third," 10 Dec. 2019 Such events could have dramatically impacted how the dark matter was formed and interacted during our universe’s first moments. Dan Hooper, Time, "Will We Ever Find Dark Matter in the Universe?," 6 Dec. 2019 The carrier said the alert warning of possible delays could impact 2.7 million of its customers through Tuesday. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Thanksgiving travelers headed home confront more wind, rain and snow," 1 Dec. 2019 His attorneys argued that because Ramirez Palma was outspoken about the unsafe conditions, deporting him could have impacted the investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration into what caused the collapse. Fox News, "Whistleblower in New Orleans hotel collapse is deported to Honduras, lawyers say," 1 Dec. 2019 While the bill has gotten approval from safe-driving advocates, activists have expressed concerns that enforcement of the bill could disproportionately impact minorities. BostonGlobe.com, "Baker intends to sign bill banning cell phone use while driving - The Boston Globe," 25 Nov. 2019 Monday flights should mainly be fine, though any late Monday night flights could be impacted as the snow first starts up. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: Everything you need to know about Monday-Tuesday snowstorm," 25 Nov. 2019 An eventual ordinance could impact companies and nonprofit organizations that do business with the city. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "A city that pays equally benefits San Antonio," 19 Nov. 2019 What the guests on each individual charter want to eat could impact the bottom line. Alyssa Haak, Marie Claire, "How Real Is Bravo's 'Below Deck'?," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both defensive end Chase Young and quarterback Justin Fields turned in high-impact performances on the big stage as the Buckeyes staved off Penn State. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Heisman Watch: LSU's Joe Burrow leads, while Chase Young of Ohio State moves up to third," 27 Nov. 2019 The new law, enacted March 22, impacts first- and second-degree felonies that don’t carry life sentences, such as armed robbery, felonious assault and abduction. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Hamilton County judge: Reagan Tokes Act is unconstitutional, disregards 'a judge's power'," 27 Nov. 2019 Given the difficulty in designing definitive nutrition studies and tabulating lifetime environmental impacts, the debate over the medical and environmental health of meat consumption is far from over. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "How pro-meat Twitter scrambled the rollout of the planetary health diet," 26 Nov. 2019 But some property owners and scientists insist there are harmful impacts, especially when the rockweed is removed by machine, rather than by hand. BostonGlobe.com, "Clash along bucolic Maine coast erupts over rockweed - The Boston Globe," 26 Nov. 2019 Becker conjectures that pollution is being preferentially ejected by impacts, regardless of whether the ice is reattaching itself in this manner. Quanta Magazine, "Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?," 26 Nov. 2019 Indeed, those who drop a bundle on such a gadget rightfully expect their lives to be enhanced significantly, somehow. AirPods and the Apple Watch have had a major impact on my existence, for sure. Julio Ojeda-zapata, Twin Cities, "Achieving marital harmony and physical fitness with Apple wearable gear," 26 Nov. 2019 The Miami Dolphins’ young, developing, hoping-to-make-an-impact group of secondary players began this past week, knowing the colossal task at hand. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ secondary learns from tough outing against Browns standouts Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.," 24 Nov. 2019 The attorney general's decision is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Netanyahu's standing within his ruling Likud, but on Thursday there were already indications that a leadership challenge was underway. Steve Hendrix, Anchorage Daily News, "Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust," 21 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for impact

Time Traveler

The first known use of impact was in 1601

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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

14 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impacting. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

verb
How to pronounce impact (audio)

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
How to pronounce impact (audio)

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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Comments on impact

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