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.
  3. a person or thing that exerts influence: He is an influence for the good.
  4. Astrology.
    1. the radiation of an ethereal fluid from the stars, regarded as affecting human actions and destinies.
    2. the exercise of occult power by the stars, or such power as exercised.
  5. the exercise of similar power by human beings.
  6. 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.
  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

1325–75; Middle English < Medieval Latin influentia stellar emanation, equivalent to Latin influent- (see influent) + -ia -y3; see -ence
Related formsin·flu·ence·a·ble, adjectivein·flu·enc·er, nouncoun·ter·in·flu·ence, noun, verb (used with object), coun·ter·in·flu·enced, coun·ter·in·flu·enc··ter·in·flu·ence, verb, in·ter·in·flu·enced, in·ter·in·flu·enc·ing.non·in·flu·ence, nounout·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, nounre·in·flu·ence, verb (used with object), re·in·flu·enced, re·in·flu·enc··per·in·flu·ence, noun, verb (used with object), su·per·in·flu·enced, su·per·in·flu·enc·ing.un·in·flu·enced, adjectiveun·in·flu·enc·ing, adjective
Can be confusedaffluence effluence influence

Synonyms for influence

Synonym study

2. See authority. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for over-influence

Historical Examples of over-influence

British Dictionary definitions for over-influence


  1. an effect of one person or thing on another
  2. the power of a person or thing to have such an effect
  3. power or sway resulting from ability, wealth, position, etc
  4. a person or thing having influence
  5. astrology an ethereal fluid or occult power regarded as emanating from the stars and affecting a person's actions, future, etc
  6. under the influence informal drunk
verb (tr)
  1. to persuade or induce
  2. to have an effect upon (actions, events, etc); affect
Derived Formsinfluenceable, adjectiveinfluencer, noun

Word Origin for influence

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



1650s, from influence (n.). Related: Influenced; influencing.



late 14c., an astrological term, "streaming ethereal power from the stars acting upon character or destiny of men," from Old French influence "emanation from the stars that acts upon one's character and destiny" (13c.), also "a flow of water," from Medieval Latin influentia "a flowing in" (also used in the astrological sense), from Latin influentem (nominative influens), present participle of influere "to flow into," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Meaning "exercise of personal power by human beings" is from mid-15c.; meaning "exertion of unseen influence by persons" is from 1580s (a sense already in Medieval Latin, e.g. Aquinas). Under the influence "drunk" first attested 1866.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with over-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.