Origin of impression

1325–75; Middle English impressio(u)n < Latin impressiōn- (stem of impressiō), equivalent to impress(us) (see impress1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsim·pres·sion·al, adjectiveim·pres·sion·al·ly, adverbim·pres·sion·less, adjectivepre·im·pres·sion, noun

Synonyms for impression Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impression

Contemporary Examples of impression

Historical Examples of impression

  • Of this, there is an impression on my mind too strong to admit of doubt.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Its calmness gave the impression of a wisdom behind it that had no existence.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • This is, at least, the impression left on us by an anecdote told by Elwin.

  • Just at the outset, the act of seeing made not the least impression on her numbed brain.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There will be time enough for the impression to be made after you are married.

British Dictionary definitions for impression



an effect produced in the mind by a stimulus; sensationhe gave the impression of wanting to help
an imprint or mark produced by pressinghe left the impression of his finger in the mud
a vague idea, consciousness, or beliefI had the impression we had met before
a strong, favourable, or remarkable effecthe made an impression on the managers
the act of impressing or the state of being impressed
  1. the act, process, or result of printing from type, plates, etc
  2. one of a number of printings of a publication printed from the same setting of type with no or few alterationsCompare edition (def. 2)
  3. the total number of copies of a publication printed at one time
dentistry an imprint of the teeth and gums, esp in wax or plaster, for use in preparing crowns, inlays, or dentures
an imitation or impersonationhe did a funny impression of the politician
Derived Formsimpressional, adjectiveimpressionally, adverb
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 impression

late 14c., "mark produced by pressure," also "image produced in the mind or emotions," from Old French impression "print, stamp; a pressing on the mind," from Latin impressionem (nominative impressio) "onset, attack," figuratively "perception," literally "a pressing into," from imprimere (see impress). Meaning "act or process of indenting" is early 15c.; that of "printing of a number of copies" is from 1570s. Meaning "belief, vague notion" (as in under the impression) is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

impression in Medicine




An effect, a feeling, or an image retained as a consequence of experience.
A mark or indentation made by the pressure of one organ on the surface of another.
An imprint of the teeth and surrounding tissues, formed with a plastic material that hardens into a mold for use in making dentures, inlays, or plastic models.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with impression


see make an impression under the impression.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.