a person who follows or adheres to the theories, methods, and practices of impressionism, especially in the fields of painting, music, or literature.
an entertainer who does impressions.


(usually initial capital letter) Fine Arts. of, relating to, or characteristic of Impressionism: Impressionist paintings; Impressionist artists.

Origin of impressionist

From the French word impressionniste, dating back to 1875–80. See impression, -ist
Related formsim·pres·sion·is·tic, adjectiveim·pres·sion·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·im·pres·sion·is·tic, adjectivesem·i-im·pres·sion·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impressionistic

Contemporary Examples of impressionistic

Historical Examples of impressionistic

  • It may almost be said that he gave it to us as an impressionistic account of his own life.

    Personality in Literature

    Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

  • It looks for all the world like some sort of impressionistic valentine.

    Tutors' Lane

    Wilmarth Lewis

  • Really, the impressionistic appeal was so overwhelming I could not help it.

    My Life

    Josiah Flynt

  • Maybe, my last studies are not impressionistic at all, but that I cannot help.

  • He arrived after the classic, romantic, impressionistic, symbolic schools.


    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for impressionistic



(usually capital) any of the French painters of the late 19th century who were exponents of impressionism
(sometimes capital) any artist, composer, or writer who uses impressionism
an entertainer who impersonates famous people


(often capital) denoting, of, or relating to impressionism or the exponents of this style
Derived Formsimpressionistic, adjective
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 impressionistic

1886; see impressionist + -ic.


as a style of painting aiming to represent overall impressions rather than exact details, first attested in English 1876 (adjective and noun), coined in French 1874 by French critic Louis Leroy ("école impressionniste") in a disparaging reference to Monet's sunset painting "Impression, Soleil Levant." Later extended to other arts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper