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 Little did either of them know the incredible impact that would follow. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "St. Ambrose teacher and students STEAM ahead to help others," 30 Apr. 2021 The place on our show where the biggest impact will be felt will be the ball scenes: Those scenes have 125 to 150 background actors. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Pose creator says goodbye to his groundbreaking drama: 'There was a very clear end to this narrative'," 30 Apr. 2021 Will a year of social distancing impact children’s immune systems? Eve Sneider, Wired, "New Guidance for Vaccinated Americans, a Worsening Crisis in India, and More Coronavirus News," 30 Apr. 2021 With five quarterbacks selected in the first round, the impact for a number of veterans will be felt immediately. oregonlive, "Penei Sewell, quarterbacks, Justin Herbert among 11 winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft," 30 Apr. 2021 The movie was released, but with all of Hearst’s efforts combined to minimize the impact, Citizen Kane did not generate big box office sales or capture the American imagination. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Lasting Riddles of Orson Welles’ Revolutionary Film ‘Citizen Kane’," 30 Apr. 2021 According to an analysis of the Indiana ethanol industry’s economic impact in recent years, the revenues have numbered more than $3 billion. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Gov. Holcomb vetoes bill about ethanol labels at gas stations, calls it 'unnecessary'," 30 Apr. 2021 Chevron’s refining and chemical units reported $5 million in profits, down from $1.1 billion a year ago, which Chevron CEO Mike Wirth attributed to the February storm and continuing impact of the pandemic. Christopher M. Matthews, WSJ, "Big Oil Companies Recover as Prices Rebound," 30 Apr. 2021 As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, several teachers are being recognized for their contributions and impact in the classroom and beyond by being named finalists for Dallas ISD’s teacher of the year award. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, "These Oak Cliff educators are finalists for Dallas ISD’s teacher of the year," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Public health organizations like the American Medical Association favor the move to ban menthols because of data showing these cigarettes disproportionately impact the health of racial minorities and young people. Bo Erickson, CBS News, "Biden expected to ban menthol cigarettes," 29 Apr. 2021 The line is anchored by Mason Cullop, 6-3, 250 pounds, who can impact the game on both sides of the ball. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Cactus takes huge expectations into spring football with perhaps state's most experienced team," 29 Apr. 2021 Sports Info Solutions Mark Simon said one or two plays this early in the season can more significantly impact a player’s DRS. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers DH Khris Davis (strained hamstring) cleared to join alternate site team in Round Rock," 28 Apr. 2021 The Players Alliance, a group of past and current Black baseball players hailed the move as a worthwhile protest against voting legislation that would disproportionately impact Black voters. BostonGlobe.com, "As fallout from Atlanta decision continues, MLB announces All-Star Game to be held in Denver," 6 Apr. 2021 Business leaders need to close the gender and racial pay gaps once and for all, and policy-makers at all levels need to take bold steps to address the trifecta of issues that disproportionately impact Black women and Latinas. Rachel Thomas, Fortune, "This Equal Pay Day, fight for the Black women and Latinas hit hardest by the pandemic," 24 Mar. 2021 Poverty tows disproportionately impact low-income communities of color. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area should lead effort to end 'poverty tows'," 21 Mar. 2021 Tolls would disproportionately impact Northern Kentucky residents. Julia Fair, The Enquirer, "Mayor balks at new Ohio River bridge project, a lung cancer fundraiser, and improvements in Newport – By the Way, NKY," 10 Mar. 2021 The language in these new voting laws does not openly target a specific group of people, but the laws' implications disproportionately impact people of color, Orr said. Javonte Anderson, USA TODAY, "Challenges to Black voting rights harks back to Jim Crow era," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Statistics for impact

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for impact

impact

noun

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

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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