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[im-pres-iv] /ɪmˈprɛs ɪv/
having the ability to impress the mind; arousing admiration, awe, respect, etc.; moving; admirable:
an impressive ceremony; an impressive appearance.
Origin of impressive
First recorded in 1585-95; impress1 + -ive
Related forms
impressively, adverb
impressiveness, noun
preimpressive, adjective
unimpressive, adjective
unimpressively, adverb
Can be confused
impressionable, impressive.
imposing, awesome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impressiveness
Historical Examples
  • I said these words slowly and deliberately, and giving them all the impressiveness I was able.

  • "Mr. and Mrs. Peter Brandt are here," she announced with impressiveness.

    Under the Country Sky Grace S. Richmond
  • The impressiveness of the bare spiritual facts of machinery is not denied.

    The Voice of the Machines Gerald Stanley Lee
  • They have all come to me again this week with renewed freshness and impressiveness.

    The Friendly Road (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker
  • The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • Hence the variety of their work, as well as its impressiveness.

  • The setting of the scene and her situation may have magnified its impressiveness.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman
  • The impressiveness of the captain's gaze was wasted in the darkness.

  • It is a great chant with all its solemnity, all its impressiveness.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • Yet there is no lack of impressiveness in this first view of the city of our solemnities.

    Northern Spain Edgar T. A. Wigram
British Dictionary definitions for impressiveness


capable of impressing, esp by size, magnificence, etc; awe-inspiring; commanding
Derived Forms
impressively, adverb
impressiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impressiveness



1570s, "capable of being easily impressed," from impress + -ive. Meaning "capable of making an impression on the mind or senses" is from 1775. Related: Impressively; impressiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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