[ noun im-pakt; verb im-pakt ]
See synonyms for: impactimpactedimpactingimpacts on

  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.

  1. influence; effect: the impact of Einstein on modern physics.

  2. an impacting; forcible impinging: the tremendous impact of the shot.

  3. 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.

  1. to collide with; strike forcefully: a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars.

  2. 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.

Origin of impact

First recorded in 1775–85; (noun and v.) back formation from impacted

usage note For impact

The verb impact has developed the transitive sense “to have an impact or effect on” ( The structured reading program has done more to impact the elementary schools than any other single factor ) and the intransitive sense “to have an impact or effect” ( The work done at the computer center will impact on the economy of Illinois and the nation ). Although recent, the new uses are entirely standard and most likely to occur in formal speech and writing. See also impactful.

Other words from impact

  • non·im·pact, noun, adjective
  • post·im·pact, adjective

Words Nearby impact Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use impact in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for impact


  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

  1. the impression made by an idea, cultural movement, social group, etc: the impact of the Renaissance on Medieval Europe

  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)

Origin of impact

C18: from Latin impactus pushed against, fastened on, from impingere to thrust at, from pangere to drive in

Derived forms of impact

  • impaction, 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