- 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.
verb (used with object), in·flu·enced, in·flu·enc·ing.
Origin of influence
Synonyms for influence
Related Words for under the influencedrunk, inebriated, intoxicated, loaded, plastered, stoned, tipsy, wasted, crocked, pickled, stewed, bashed, buzzed, tanked, totaled
Word Origin for 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.
under the influence
Impaired functioning owing to alcohol consumption, as in He was accused of driving under the influence. This expression, from legal jargon, is short for under the influence of intoxicating liquor and implies that one is not completely drunk. Since it is nearly always applied to drivers suspected or so accused, it has given rise to the police acronym DUI, for “driving under the influence.” [Second half of 1800s]
see under the influence.