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

From how certain hues can impact your mood and the aesthetic of a room to personal anecdotes about the role color played throughout her life, Atwood's book is chock-full of practical advice. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Rules of Decorating with Color, According to Rebecca Atwood," 3 Sep. 2019 The recent headlines about Facebook and Equifax opened a lot more eyes to how privacy impacts our lives in unforeseen ways. Anchorage Daily News, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," 2 Sep. 2019 Click on the links below for a look at the preseason Top 15 poll, players to watch and key numbers for the girls soccer season, plus a feature on how the U.S. women’s national team’s success in the World Cup has impacted players and coaches. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "2019 Baltimore-area high school girls soccer preview: Top 15 poll, players to watch, key numbers," 2 Sep. 2019 The recent headlines about Facebook and Equifax opened a lot more eyes to how privacy impacts our lives in unforeseen ways. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," 31 Aug. 2019 The studies will look at how the potential construction noise and vibration would impact an existing medical office building located on the project site at 1809 Verdugo Blvd. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Proposed senior facility near La Cañada delayed as it heads for further study," 27 Aug. 2019 Most of the cultural conversation about vaccines focuses on children: Which children are getting them, which children aren’t and why, and how those decisions impact the rest of the population. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Here Are All the Vaccines You Actually Need as an Adult," 26 Aug. 2019 Through the Fearless Fund, Simone and Pulliam are highlighting how diversity significantly impacts a company’s performance and potential to provide investor returns. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Keisha Knight Pulliam & Arian Simone Are Investing $5 Million Dollars In Black Women Owned Businesses," 23 Aug. 2019 Curb cesses Given how cesses impact Indian federalism, for some time now, experts have been advocating that their use be curbed. Shoaib Daniyal, Quartz India, "Various cesses levied by the Modi government are squeezing Indian state budgets," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hurricane Dorian has ravaged the Bahamas and continues to creep up the east coast of the U.S., with meteorologists warnings of its impact on Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Here’s How You Can Help the Victims of Deadly Hurricane Dorian," 4 Sep. 2019 What’s clear from this and other mega projects is that, for residents, there is a serious risk that their impact on local politics, livelihoods and conflicts is being overlooked. Zoe Cormack, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s huge wind power project might be great for the environment but not for local communities," 3 Sep. 2019 Expect new additions like Biegel, Lacey and Harris to make their biggest impact on special teams early because Baker and Eguavoen are viewed as the team’s every-down linebackers. Keven Lerner, sun-sentinel.com, "Miami Dolphins’ 53-man roster breakdown: Only 22 players from last season’s team on this year’s roster," 3 Sep. 2019 Its economic impact is real and growing, and action now is essential. Dickon Pinner, Fortune, "Earth to CEO: Your Company Is Already at Risk From Climate Change," 3 Sep. 2019 Bad actors may circulate propaganda to no effect—only election day votes will reveal their impact. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "There will be election manipulation in 2020. Scientists can’t stop it, but they can study it," 3 Sep. 2019 The trade war’s potential to slow America’s economic expansion, including its impact on the manufacturing sector, has already prompted concern from Federal Reserve officials. New York Times, "Trump Says China Will Suffer as Data Shows Trade War Hurting U.S.," 3 Sep. 2019 Perhaps what makes the Auburn loss harder to get over is not knowing when any of its impact might last. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks can’t afford to let Auburn loss beat them twice, against Nevada or anyone else," 2 Sep. 2019 Their cost of living would be less; their company impact would be more. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Work from anywhere model works," 2 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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