impress

1 of 4

verb (1)

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
impressed; impressing; impresses

transitive verb

1
a
: to affect especially forcibly or deeply : gain the admiration or interest of
her honesty impressed us
b
: to produce a vivid impression of
2
a
: to apply with pressure so as to imprint
b
: to produce (something, such as a mark) by pressure
c
: to mark by or as if by pressure or stamping
3

intransitive verb

: to produce an impression
impressibility noun
impressible adjective

impress

2 of 4

noun (1)

im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
also
im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: a characteristic or distinctive mark : stamp
the impress of a fresh and vital intelligence is stamped … in his workLytton Strachey
2
: impression, effect
have an impress on history
3
: the act of impressing
4
a
: a mark made by pressure : imprint
b
: an image of something formed by or as if by pressure
especially : seal
c
: a product of pressure or influence

impress

3 of 4

verb (2)

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
impressed; impressing; impresses

transitive verb

1
: to levy or take by force for public service
especially : to force into naval service
2
a
: to procure or enlist by forcible persuasion
b
: force
impressed him into a white coat for the Christmas festivitiesNancy Hale

impress

4 of 4

noun (2)

im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
also
im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
Choose the Right Synonym for impress

affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway mean to produce or have an effect upon.

affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction.

the sight affected her to tears

influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior).

our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing

touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming.

plants touched by frost
his emotions were touched by her distress

impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect.

only one of the plans impressed him

strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation.

struck by the solemnity of the occasion

sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action.

politicians who are swayed by popular opinion

Examples of impress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
During the testing period, we were impressed by how well this formula helped create a fuller and more voluminous look, which is always appreciated with fine hair. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Trout then impressed at U camps last summer, formed a bond with offensive line coach Brian Callahan, visited Huntington Bank Stadium for two games in 2023 and, in the end, sought a leadership role in his recruiting class. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, 13 Feb. 2024 Customer Patrice Anderson was impressed by her new neighborhood bar. Catherine Muccigrosso, Charlotte Observer, 12 Feb. 2024 McConnell has visited Zelenskyy in Kyiv and hosted the leader at the Capitol, and the Republican leader from Kentucky has tried to impress on his party the importance of investing in allies -- and replenishing the U.S. industrial base that manufactures the weaponry being used to push back Russia. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 11 Feb. 2024 That’s where Williams impressed the Heat with his professional approach and determination to become a better all-around player. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 11 Feb. 2024 Evolving the food and beverage scene When all-inclusive resorts were at their dawn, they were known for large buffet spreads designed to impress with quantity (sometimes over quality). Ramsey Qubein, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 He too was impressed by the Free People Movement All Prepped Ski Suit’s high-tech features, durability, and warmth. Michelle Parente, Travel + Leisure, 10 Feb. 2024 When Barboza recently visited a friend’s home, she was impressed by new kitchen cabinets. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
The Echo Show 8 impresses with its high-quality display and versatile features. Maddie Michalik, Travel + Leisure, 25 Jan. 2024 The Highland Park estate at 3637 Maplewood Ave. impresses with sophisticated style from your first step in the door. Allie Beth Allman & Associates, Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2023 Chris Lowe’s production design impresses with the Oceanic Institute and the very cool dive suits and sea vessels. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Aug. 2023 Designed by William Briggs and built by Tom Black, the nearly 6,000-square-foot home impresses with arched doorways, spacious rooms and sophisticated fireplaces. Allie Beth Allman & Associates, Dallas News, 27 June 2023 About how youth is clay that responds to the impress of charismatic people and ideas. Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Washington Post, 22 June 2023 On the road, even the entry-level 350+ impresses, the steel suspension tending more towards soft compliance than engaging poise, but still offering a relaxing, rewarding drive experience. Tim Stevens, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2023 Thankfully, this always-be-dressed-to-impress rule has lightened up a bit during the pandemic, but here are a few other steadfast ways that remain. Sara Lieberman, Travel + Leisure, 15 Sep. 2021 All Quiet on the Western Front was not quiet on the Oscars front, and earned Netflix an impress four wins. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere, from in- + premere to press — more at press

Verb (2)

in- entry 2 + press entry 3

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Noun (1)

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impress was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near impress

Cite this Entry

“Impress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impress. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

impress

1 of 3 verb
im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: to produce by stamping, pressing, or printing
2
a
: to fix in or on one's mind : produce a vivid impression of
the lesson was impressed on their minds
b
: to affect strongly or deeply
I am impressed by what you've done
also : to gain the admiration or interest of
tries to impress people

impress

2 of 3 noun
im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: the act of impressing
2
: a mark made by pressure
3
: a characteristic or special mark
4

impress

3 of 3 verb
im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
: to force into naval service
impressment
-mənt
noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impress

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