im·​pres·​sion | \ im-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce impression (audio) \

Definition of impression

1 : the effect produced by impressing: such as
a : an especially marked and often favorable influence or effect on feeling, sense, or mind
b : a stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical contact
c : an imprint of the teeth and adjacent portions of the jaw for use in dentistry
2 : an often indistinct or imprecise notion or remembrance
3a : a telling image impressed on the senses or the mind
b : an effect of alteration or improvement The settlement left little impression on the wilderness.
c : a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence the impression on behavior produced by the social milieu
4 : an imitation or representation of salient features in an artistic or theatrical medium especially : an imitation in caricature of a noted personality as a form of theatrical entertainment
5 : the act of impressing: such as
a : an affecting by stamping or pressing
b : a communicating of a mold, trait, or character by an external force or influence
6 : page view especially : an instance in which a specific element (such as an advertisement) is displayed on a web page accessed by a user Although many consumers have never heard of ad tech firms, people's online activity is influenced every day by these companies as they battle for a share of ad impressions on phones, tablets, and laptops. — Claire Ballentine
7a : the amount of pressure with which an inked printing surface deposits its ink on the paper
b : one instance of the meeting of a printing surface and the material being printed also : a single print or copy so made
c : all the copies (as of a book) printed in one continuous operation from a single makeready
8a : the first coat of color in painting
b : a coat of paint for ornament or preservation

Synonyms for impression


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idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan). idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed. innovative ideas my idea of paradise concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be. a society with no concept of private property conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result. our changing conception of what constitutes art thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining. commit your thoughts to paper notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental. you have the oddest notions impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses. the first impression is of soaring height

Examples of impression in a Sentence

The candidate made a favorable impression. My first impression of him was that he was a kind and thoughtful young man. First impressions are important but can be misleading. In her journal, she recorded her impressions of the city. Her kindness left a lasting impression on her students. I got the distinct impression that they didn't mean to stay long. See More
Recent Examples on the Web McCutcheon, who averaged 19 yards per catch in college, had been making an impression since the Rams’ offseason program, coach Sean McVay said. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2022 Hernandez didn't take long to make an impression at training camp. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 13 Aug. 2022 For fans who’ve never taken a break from the franchise, though, most episodes might make less of an impression. Jessica Liese, Variety, 11 Aug. 2022 Here are some of the design elements: Wooden floors make an immediate impression upon entering the home. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 Vavra has made an immediate impression since joining the Orioles’ lineup a week ago, consistently working tough at-bats as he’s posted a .350 batting average and .480 on-base percentage. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 8 Aug. 2022 Now, in Eugene and finally healthy, the 6-foot-5 fifth-year junior has made an encouraging early impression with his new team. oregonlive, 8 Aug. 2022 Jake Guidone, a graduate transfer from Dartmouth, has made an impression early despite being out recently with a minor knee injury. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 5 Aug. 2022 Hutchinson has also made an impression in the meeting room. Detroit Lions, Fox News, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impression.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of impression

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for impression

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The first known use of impression was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near impression

impressed watermark



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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for impression


im·​pres·​sion | \ im-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce impression (audio) \

Kids Definition of impression

1 : something (as a design) made by pressing or stamping a surface The tires made impressions in the mud.
2 : the effect that something or someone has on a person's thoughts or feelings She shared her impressions of the city.
3 : an idea or belief that is usually uncertain
4 : an imitation of a famous person done for entertainment


im·​pres·​sion | \ im-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce impression (audio) \

Medical Definition of impression

1 : an imprint in plastic material of the surfaces of the teeth and adjacent portions of the jaw from which a likeness may be produced in dentistry
2 : an especially marked influence or effect on the senses or the mind

More from Merriam-Webster on impression

Nglish: Translation of impression for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impression for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about impression


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