[ verb im-pres; noun im-pres ]
See synonyms for: impressimpressedimpressesimpressing on

verb (used with object),im·pressed or (Archaic) im·prest; im·pres·sing.
  1. to affect deeply or strongly in mind or feelings; influence in opinion: He impressed us as a sincere young man.

  2. to fix deeply or firmly on the mind or memory, as ideas or facts: to impress the importance of honesty on a child.

  1. to urge, as something to be remembered or done: She impressed the need for action on them.

  2. to press (a thing) into or on something.

  3. to impose a particular characteristic or quality upon (something): The painter impressed his love of garish colors upon the landscape.

  4. to produce (a mark, figure, etc.) by pressure; stamp; imprint: The king impressed his seal on the melted wax.

  5. to apply with pressure, so as to leave a mark.

  6. to subject to or mark by pressure with something.

  7. to furnish with a mark, figure, etc., by or as if by stamping.

  8. Electricity. to produce (a voltage) or cause (a voltage) to appear or be produced on a conductor, circuit, etc.

verb (used without object),im·pressed or (Archaic) im·prest; im·pres·sing.
  1. to create a favorable impression; draw attention to oneself: a child's behavior intended to impress.

  1. the act of impressing.

  2. a mark made by or as by pressure; stamp; imprint.

  1. a distinctive character or effect imparted: writings that bear the impress of a strong personality.

Origin of impress

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere “to press into or upon, impress,” equivalent to im- “in” + pressus, past participle of premere (combining form -primere ) “to press”; see im-1, press1, print

Other words for impress

Other words from impress

  • im·press·er, noun

Words Nearby impress

Other definitions for impress (2 of 2)

[ verb im-pres; noun im-pres ]

verb (used with object),im·pressed or (Archaic) im·prest; im·pres·sing.
  1. to press or force into public service, as sailors.

  2. to seize or take for public use.

  1. to take or persuade into service by forceful arguments: The neighbors were impressed into helping the family move.

Origin of impress

First recorded in 1590–1600; im-1 + press2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use impress in a sentence

  • We have to remember that his daily life, where the home is orderly, helps to impress on him regularity of form.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • Ramona herself bore no impress of sorrow; rather her face had now an added radiance.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • He took both her hands between his as he spoke; not so much, it seemed in affection, as to impress solemnity upon her.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • This glow of feeling and exhilaration gave a new impress of sweetness and fascination to her beauty.

  • Almost all the variety of the landscape is due to this impress of water action which has operated on the surface in past ages.

    Outlines of the Earth's History | Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

British Dictionary definitions for impress (1 of 2)


verb(ɪmˈprɛs) (tr)
  1. to make an impression on; have a strong, lasting, or favourable effect on: I am impressed by your work

  2. to produce (an imprint, etc) by pressure in or on (something): to impress a seal in wax; to impress wax with a seal

  1. (often foll by on) to stress (something to a person); urge; emphasize: to impress the danger of a situation on someone

  2. to exert pressure on; press

  3. electronics to apply (a voltage) to a circuit or device

  1. the act or an instance of impressing

  2. a mark, imprint, or effect produced by impressing

Origin of impress

C14: from Latin imprimere to press into, imprint, from premere to press 1

Derived forms of impress

  • impresser, noun
  • impressible, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for impress (2 of 2)


  1. to commandeer or coerce (men or things) into government service; press-gang

  1. the act of commandeering or coercing into government service; impressment

Origin of impress

C16: see im- in- ², press ²

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