[ in-floo-uhns ]
See synonyms for: influenceinfluencedinfluencesinfluencing on

  1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others: He used family influence to get the contract.

  2. the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others: Her mother's influence made her stay.

  1. a person or thing that exerts influence: He is an influence for the good.

  2. Astrology.

    • the radiation of an ethereal fluid from the stars, regarded as affecting human actions and destinies.

    • the exercise of occult power by the stars, or such power as exercised.

  3. the exercise of similar power by human beings.

  4. Obsolete. influx.

verb (used with object),in·flu·enced, in·flu·enc·ing.
  1. to exercise influence on; affect; sway: to influence a person.

  2. to move or impel (a person) to some action: Outside factors influenced her to resign.

Idioms about influence

  1. under the influence, Law. less than drunk but with one's nervous system impaired: He was driving while under the influence.: Also under the influence of intoxicating liquor .

Origin of influence

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, from Medieval Latin influentia “stellar emanation,” equivalent to Latin influent- (see influent) + -ia-y3; see -ence

Other words for influence

Other words from influence

  • in·flu·ence·a·ble, adjective
  • in·flu·enc·er, noun
  • coun·ter·in·flu·ence, noun, verb (used with object), coun·ter·in·flu·enced, coun·ter·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • in·ter·in·flu·ence, verb, in·ter·in·flu·enced, in·ter·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • non·in·flu·ence, noun
  • out·in·flu·ence, verb (used with object), out·in·flu·enced, out·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • o·ver·in·flu·ence, verb (used with object), o·ver·in·flu·enced, o·ver·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • pre·in·flu·ence, noun
  • re·in·flu·ence, verb (used with object), re·in·flu·enced, re·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • su·per·in·flu·ence, noun, verb (used with object), su·per·in·flu·enced, su·per·in·flu·enc·ing.
  • un·in·flu·enced, adjective
  • un·in·flu·enc·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with influence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use influence in a sentence

  • Broad-minded, open to appeal, no man was less influenceable in final judgment.

    Lincoln, the Politician | T. Aaron Levy

British Dictionary definitions for influence


/ (ˈɪnflʊəns) /

  1. an effect of one person or thing on another

  2. the power of a person or thing to have such an effect

  1. power or sway resulting from ability, wealth, position, etc

  2. a person or thing having influence

  3. astrology an ethereal fluid or occult power regarded as emanating from the stars and affecting a person's actions, future, etc

  4. under the influence informal drunk

  1. to persuade or induce

  2. to have an effect upon (actions, events, etc); affect

Origin of influence

C14: from Medieval Latin influentia emanation of power from the stars, from Latin influere to flow into, from fluere to flow

Derived forms of influence

  • influenceable, adjective
  • influencer, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with influence


see under the influence.

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