im·pres·sion | \ im-ˈpre-shən \

Definition of impression 

1a : a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence the impression on behavior produced by the social milieu

b : an effect of alteration or improvement the settlement left little impression on the wilderness

c : a telling image impressed on the senses or the mind

2 : the effect produced by impressing: such as

a : a stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical contact

b : an imprint of the teeth and adjacent portions of the jaw for use in dentistry

c : an especially marked and often favorable influence or effect on feeling, sense, or mind

3 : 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

4a : 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

5 : an often indistinct or imprecise notion or remembrance

6a : the first coat of color in painting

b : a coat of paint for ornament or preservation

7 : 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for impression

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But Kennedy, in leaving the impression with Trump that Kavanaugh would be a great candidate for the job, helped the president make up his mind. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Did Anthony Kennedy make a deal with Trump?," 10 July 2018 Walker, now an assistant law professor at the University of Louisville, recalls how Kavanaugh left an impression and made the course in his second year at Harvard Law School his favorite. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville professor: SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh made an impression on me," 10 July 2018 Still, there's something extra special about Emmy winner Brown, who plays everyone's favorite great-but-not-exactly-cool dad, doing his best Drake impression., "Is This An Official Petition For Drake To Join This Is Us?," 10 July 2018 The springs, though, offer some serious fun and adrenaline for nondivers with tall platforms for diving, diving boards, water slides and even a rope swing for people doing their best Mountain Dew commercial impression. Richard Tribou,, "Explore Florida's Holmes County: Whirlwind of fun at Vortex Springs," 3 July 2018 The time has come for everyone who spent all those hours in front of the mirror doing their best impressions of Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Brittany Howard, sans guitar. Lisa Deaderick,, "Top weekend events: Bayside Summer Nights, Gabriel 'Fluffy' Iglesias, 'Monty Python's Spamalot'," 29 June 2018 His speeches and interviews seem to leave little impression. The Economist, "The incredible disappearing French Socialist Party," 21 June 2018 For the past 10 years, Filipino frontman Arnel Pineda -- who was discovered after uploading Journey cover songs to YouTube -- has been on vocal duty, doing his best Perry impression. Katy Kroll, Billboard, "Def Leppard & Journey Bring Rock 'n' Roll Revelry to New York's Madison Square Garden," 14 June 2018 And that Fifty Shades of Grey left an impression too. Marie Claire, "Tiffany Haddish's Bucket List Includes a Date with Michael B. Jordan and a Fried Chicken Dinner with Michelle Obama," 5 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of impression

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Phrases Related to impression

be under the impression

Statistics for impression

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impression

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

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More Definitions for impression



English Language Learners Definition of impression

: the effect or influence that something or someone has on a person's thoughts or feelings

: an idea or belief that is usually not clear or certain

: an appearance or suggestion of something


im·pres·sion | \ im-ˈpre-shən \

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 \

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

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Comments on impression

What made you want to look up impression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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