See more synonyms for impinge on
verb (used without object), im·pinged, im·ping·ing.
  1. to make an impression; have an effect or impact (usually followed by on or upon): to impinge upon the imagination; social pressures that impinge upon one's daily life.
  2. to encroach; infringe (usually followed by on or upon): to impinge on another's rights.
  3. to strike; dash; collide (usually followed by on, upon, or against): rays of light impinging on the eye.
verb (used with object), im·pinged, im·ping·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to come into violent contact with.

Origin of impinge

1525–35; < Medieval Latin impingere to strike against, drive at, equivalent to Latin im- im-1 + -pingere, combining form of pangere to fasten, drive in, fix; see impact
Related formsim·ping·ent, adjectiveim·ping·er, nounim·pinge·ment, nounun·im·ping·ing, adjective
Can be confusedinfringe impinge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for impinge

Contemporary Examples of impinge

Historical Examples of impinge

  • The word that did impinge on his consciousness did so with a shock.

    Pagan Passions

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Sound comes to us in the guise of air-waves, which impinge upon the drum of the ear.

    Spirit and Music

    H. Ernest Hunt

  • He was the only man in England whose career might impinge upon mine.

    Hilda Wade

    Grant Allen

  • Above all: will the browns tend to impinge on white race-areas as the yellows show signs of doing?

  • At the same time a wave of intense virility seemed to surge out from him and impinge upon her.

    Martin Eden

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for impinge


  1. (intr; usually foll by on or upon) to encroach or infringe; trespassto impinge on someone's time
  2. (intr; usually foll by on, against, or upon) to collide (with); strike
Derived Formsimpingement, nounimpinger, noun

Word Origin for impinge

C16: from Latin impingere to drive at, dash against, from pangere to fasten, drive in
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

Word Origin and History for impinge

1530s, "fasten or fix forcibly," from Latin impingere "drive into, strike against," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pangere "to fix, fasten" (see pact). Sense of "encroach, infringe" first recorded 1738. Related: Impinged; impinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper