im·​pres·​sion·​is·​tic (ˌ)im-ˌpre-shə-ˈni-stik How to pronounce impressionistic (audio)
or impressionist often capitalized : of, relating to, or constituting impressionism
: based on or involving impression as distinct from expertise or fact
intuitions and impressionistic anecdotal accountsSidney Hook
impressionistically adverb

Example Sentences

He wrote an impressionistic account of the battle scene.
Recent Examples on the Web Nightmare Alley was all about impressions — impressionistic feelings. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Jan. 2023 The style of the film is actually based on an impressionistic-style painting Stewart created of a man waking from sleep. Connor Lynch, Discover Magazine, 10 Oct. 2022 In response, Lawrence was game, but much more impressionistic, with a style more appropriate to a public talk than to a formal debate. Sean Carroll, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2011 To judge from this selection, the Northern Virginia artist’s style has evolved to become more impressionistic as her vantage points have become more intimate. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2022 For me, lyrics are as impressionistic as any other aspect of the sound. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 5 Nov. 2022 That would be Patrick Modiano, another French writer whose slim, impressionistic narratives trace a line between memory and place. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2022 Many other audience members were more plainly impressionistic in their responses. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Oct. 2022 Carlos Alfonzo, Mother, 1990.Courtesy LnS Gallery, Miami. Born in Havana in 1950, Carlos Alfonzo came to the U.S. as part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980 and soon built an international career on his vibrantly colorful neo-impressionistic works. Dan Allen, NBC News, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of impressionistic was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near impressionistic

Cite this Entry

“Impressionistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​pres·​sion·​is·​tic (ˌ)im-ˌpresh-ə-ˈnis-tik How to pronounce impressionistic (audio)
or impressionist often capitalized : of or relating to impressionism
an impressionistic style of painting
: based on or involving one's impressions rather than knowledge or facts
impressionistic descriptions
impressionistically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on impressionistic

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