impression

noun

im·​pres·​sion im-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce impression (audio)
1
: the effect produced by impressing: such as
a
: an especially marked and often favorable influence or effect on feeling, sense, or mind
b
: a stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical contact
c
: an imprint of the teeth and adjacent portions of the jaw for use in dentistry
2
: an often indistinct or imprecise notion or remembrance
3
a
: a telling image impressed on the senses or the mind
b
: an effect of alteration or improvement
The settlement left little impression on the wilderness.
c
: a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence
the impression on behavior produced by the social milieu
4
: 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
5
: 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
6
: page view
especially : an instance in which a specific element (such as an advertisement) is displayed on a web page accessed by a user
Although many consumers have never heard of ad tech firms, people's online activity is influenced every day by these companies as they battle for a share of ad impressions on phones, tablets, and laptops. Claire Ballentine
7
a
: 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
8
a
: the first coat of color in painting
b
: a coat of paint for ornament or preservation
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web From catsuits to midriff-baring crop tops, Shania Twain made an impression, particularly on a new kid in town. Eileen Finan, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2022 One big guy, in particular, made quite an impression. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022 This cask-strength 100-percent rye whisky first was released in 2020, and made quite an impression on whisky fans at the time, not to mention winning a number of awards. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 4 Nov. 2022 For Spooner, the first Earth Day, in 1970, made an impression. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 28 Oct. 2022 None more so than Rodman, who made quite the impression on Coles the night before. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 24 Oct. 2022 It’s the stars who have made an impression on the red carpet, while directors by and large seemed content to dress in line with their classification in the Hollywood eco-system: behind-the-camera talent. Degen Pener, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Oct. 2022 Even the most seemingly mundane places or objects made an impression on him, and, ultimately, this latest collection. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 12 Oct. 2022 The frugality and simplicity of some Italian dishes have also made an impression on Tucci. Barry Neild And Madalena Araujo, CNN, 7 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near impression

Cite this Entry

“Impression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impression. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

impression

noun

im·​pres·​sion im-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce impression (audio)
1
: the act or process of impressing
2
a
: something (as a design or a footprint) made by pressing or stamping
b
: something that impresses or is impressed on one's mind
those words made a strong impression
the candidate made a good impression
3
: a memory or belief that is vague or uncertain
it's my impression that you don't have to go
4
: an imitation of a famous person done for entertainment

Medical Definition

impression

noun

im·​pres·​sion im-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce impression (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on impression

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