[ 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

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

  • Impressed by the lugubrious scene, Aguinaldo yielded, and the next day peace negotiations were opened.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • A characteristic which distinguished them and which impressed Mrs. Pontellier most forcibly was their entire absence of prudery.

  • Few persons can attain to adult life without being profoundly impressed by the appalling inequalities of our human lot.

  • Janet's silence impressed Hilda: it was not merely strange--it was formidable: it affected the whole day.

    Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
  • Porter had impressed upon his men that to be captured by the Yankees meant certain death.

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