im·​pres·​sive im-ˈpre-siv How to pronounce impressive (audio)
: making or tending to make a marked impression : having the power to excite attention, awe, or admiration
an impressive display of skill
impressively adverb
impressiveness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for impressive

moving, impressive, poignant, affecting, touching, pathetic mean having the power to produce deep emotion.

moving may apply to any strong emotional effect including thrilling, agitating, saddening, or calling forth pity or sympathy.

a moving appeal for contributions

impressive implies compelling attention, admiration, wonder, or conviction.

an impressive list of achievements

poignant applies to what keenly or sharply affects one's sensitivities.

a poignant documentary on the homeless

affecting is close to moving but most often suggests pathos.

an affecting deathbed reunion

touching implies arousing tenderness or compassion.

the touching innocence in a child's eyes

pathetic implies moving to pity or sometimes contempt.

pathetic attempts to justify misconduct

Example Sentences

He has an impressive vocabulary for a 10-year-old. Her first performance was very impressive. He has an impressive manner.
Recent Examples on the Web But perhaps equally impressive was the work ethic Chaney witnessed from Sasser on a daily basis, something Chaney says permeated throughout the team. Josh Criswell, Chron, 25 Mar. 2023 Hendrix was even more impressive, striking out the side in the fourth. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2023 The passing stats might have been even more impressive. Mark Inabinett |, al, 25 Mar. 2023 The show's set design, lighting, and choreography are all equally impressive too. Emlyn Travis,, 24 Mar. 2023 This all makes what Cooper did last season — 11-2, 2.27 ERA and 110 strikeouts over 86.1 innings — even more impressive. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Mar. 2023 In fact, the latter will arguably be even more impressive thanks to the SUV's advanced technology, incredible power output, and innovative features, including four-wheel steering, enabling the much-ballyhooed crab mode. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 24 Mar. 2023 More impressive was their resilience when the game seemed to be slipping away. Alabama: Other than the second-half run that put them ahead briefly, the Crimson Tide seemed out of sorts in multiple ways. Gary B. Graves, Chicago Tribune, 24 Mar. 2023 His country chart achievements are even more impressive. Xander Zellner, Billboard, 23 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impressive was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near impressive

Cite this Entry

“Impressive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​pres·​sive im-ˈpres-iv How to pronounce impressive (audio)
: having the power to impress the mind or feelings
an impressive speech
impressively adverb
impressiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impressive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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