impress

1 of 4

verb (1)

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
impressed; impressing; impresses

transitive verb

1
a
: to affect especially forcibly or deeply : gain the admiration or interest of
her honesty impressed us
b
: to produce a vivid impression of
2
a
: to apply with pressure so as to imprint
b
: to produce (something, such as a mark) by pressure
c
: to mark by or as if by pressure or stamping
3

intransitive verb

: to produce an impression
impressibility noun
impressible adjective

impress

2 of 4

noun (1)

im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
also
im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: a characteristic or distinctive mark : stamp
the impress of a fresh and vital intelligence is stamped … in his work Lytton Strachey
2
: impression, effect
have an impress on history
3
: the act of impressing
4
a
: a mark made by pressure : imprint
b
: an image of something formed by or as if by pressure
especially : seal
c
: a product of pressure or influence

impress

3 of 4

verb (2)

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
impressed; impressing; impresses

transitive verb

1
: to levy or take by force for public service
especially : to force into naval service
2
a
: to procure or enlist by forcible persuasion
b
: force
impressed him into a white coat for the Christmas festivities Nancy Hale

impress

4 of 4

noun (2)

im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
also
im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
Choose the Right Synonym for impress

affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway mean to produce or have an effect upon.

affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction.

the sight affected her to tears

influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior).

our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing

touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming.

plants touched by frost
his emotions were touched by her distress

impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect.

only one of the plans impressed him

strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation.

struck by the solemnity of the occasion

sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action.

politicians who are swayed by popular opinion

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere, from in- + premere to press — more at press

Verb (2)

in- entry 2 + press entry 3

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Noun (1)

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impress was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near impress

Cite this Entry

“Impress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impress. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

impress 1 of 3

verb

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: to produce by stamping, pressing, or printing
2
a
: to fix in or on one's mind : produce a vivid impression of
the lesson was impressed on their minds
b
: to affect strongly or deeply
I am impressed by what you've done
also : to gain the admiration or interest of
tries to impress people

impress

2 of 3

noun

im·​press ˈim-ˌpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
1
: the act of impressing
2
: a mark made by pressure
3
: a characteristic or special mark
4

impress

3 of 3

verb

im·​press im-ˈpres How to pronounce impress (audio)
: to force into naval service
impressment
-mənt
noun

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