1. the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision: The impact of the colliding cars broke the windshield.
  2. an impinging: the impact of light on the eye.
  3. influence; effect: the impact of Einstein on modern physics.
  4. an impacting; forcible impinging: the tremendous impact of the shot.
  5. the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology: the impact of the industrial revolution.

verb (used with object)

  1. to drive or press closely or firmly into something; pack in.
  2. to fill up; congest; throng: A vast crowd impacted St. Peter’s Square.
  3. to collide with; strike forcefully: a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars.
  4. to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter: The decision may impact your whole career. The auto industry will be impacted by the new labor agreements.

verb (used without object)

  1. to have impact or make contact forcefully: The ball impacted against the bat with a loud noise.
  2. to have an impact or effect: Increased demand will impact on sales.

noun (ˈɪmpækt)

  1. the act of one body, object, etc, striking another; collision
  2. the force with which one thing hits another or with which two objects collide
  3. the impression made by an idea, cultural movement, social group, etcthe impact of the Renaissance on Medieval Europe

verb (ɪmˈpækt)

  1. to drive or press (an object) firmly into (another object, thing, etc) or (of two objects) to be driven or pressed firmly together
  2. to have an impact or strong effect (on)

c.1600, “press closely into something,” from Latin impactus, past participle of impingere “to push into, dash against, thrust at” (see impinge). Originally sense preserved in impacted teeth (1876). Sense of “strike forcefully against something” first recorded 1916. Figurative sense of “have a forceful effect on” is from 1935. Related: Impacting.


1781, “collision,” from impact (v.). Figurative sense of “forceful impression” is from 1817 (Coleridge).

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