Thesaurus

influence

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of influence

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the power to direct the thinking or behavior of others usually indirectly
  • a mayor who doesn't hesitate to use her influence to get business leaders behind civic improvements

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2 the power to bring about a result on another
  • the basic premise of astrology is that the position of the stars has an influence on human affairs

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influence

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of influence (Entry 2 of 2)

to act upon (a person or a person's feelings) so as to cause a response
  • the news reports of the devastating flood influenced a great many people to make contributions for food and supplies

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About influence

How is the word influence distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of influence are authority, credit, prestige, and weight. While all these words mean "power exerted over the minds or behavior of others," influence may apply to a force exercised and received consciously or unconsciously.

used her influence to get the bill passed

When can authority be used instead of influence?

While in some cases nearly identical to influence, authority implies the power of winning devotion or allegiance or of compelling acceptance and belief.

his opinions lacked authority

When might credit be a better fit than influence?

The words credit and influence can be used in similar contexts, but credit suggests influence that arises from the confidence of others.

his credit with the press

Where would prestige be a reasonable alternative to influence?

The synonyms prestige and influence are sometimes interchangeable, but prestige implies the ascendancy given by conspicuous excellence or reputation for superiority.

the prestige of the newspaper

When could weight be used to replace influence?

In some situations, the words weight and influence are roughly equivalent. However, weight implies measurable or decisive influence in determining acts or choices.

their wishes obviously carried much weight

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Time Traveler for influence

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Influence.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/influence. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on influence

Dictionary: Definition of influence

Nglish: Translation of influence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of influence for Arabic Speakers

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