[verb im-pres; noun im-pres]
See more synonyms for impress 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.
  3. to urge, as something to be remembered or done: She impressed the need for action on them.
  4. to press (a thing) into or on something.
  5. to impose a particular characteristic or quality upon (something): The painter impressed his love of garish colors upon the landscape.
  6. to produce (a mark, figure, etc.) by pressure; stamp; imprint: The king impressed his seal on the melted wax.
  7. to apply with pressure, so as to leave a mark.
  8. to subject to or mark by pressure with something.
  9. to furnish with a mark, figure, etc., by or as if by stamping.
  10. 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.
  3. a distinctive character or effect imparted: writings that bear the impress of a strong personality.

Origin of impress

1325–75; Middle English < Latin impressus past participle of imprimere to press into or upon, impress, equivalent to im- im-1 + pressus past participle of premere (combining form -primere) to press1; see print
Related formsim·press·er, noun

Synonyms for impress

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[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.
  3. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for impress

Contemporary Examples of impress

Historical Examples of impress

  • Boys were flogged at boundaries, to impress the boundaries on their memory.

  • Boys were flogged when criminals were hanged, to impress the awful warning on them.

  • The Eastern end of the Cathedral does not impress the beholder.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • She said this calmly and quietly, as though to impress her informant and reassure him.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • These performances, I gather, are to impress upon you that he is a free man and your equal.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for impress


verb (ɪmˈprɛs) (tr)
  1. to make an impression on; have a strong, lasting, or favourable effect onI 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
  3. (often foll by on) to stress (something to a person); urge; emphasizeto impress the danger of a situation on someone
  4. to exert pressure on; press
  5. electronics to apply (a voltage) to a circuit or device
noun (ˈɪmprɛs)
  1. the act or an instance of impressing
  2. a mark, imprint, or effect produced by impressing
Derived Formsimpresser, nounimpressible, adjective

Word Origin for impress

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


verb (ɪmˈprɛs)
  1. to commandeer or coerce (men or things) into government service; press-gang
noun (ˈɪmprɛs)
  1. the act of commandeering or coercing into government service; impressment

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for impress

late 14c., "have a strong effect on the mind or heart," from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere "press into or upon, stamp," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + premere "to press" (see press (v.1)). Literal sense of "to apply with pressure, make a permanent image in, indent, imprint" is from early 15c. in English. Sense of "to levy for military service" is from 1590s, a meaning more from press (v.2). Related: Impressed; impressing.


"act of impressing," also "characteristic mark," 1590s, from impress (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper