Definition of influence in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈinflo͝oəns/


1The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself: the influence of television violence I was still under the influence of my parents their friends are having a bad influence on them
More example sentences
  • This concept of group norm may capture a more accurate reflection of the effects of social influence on behaviour.
  • Another important influence over the development of parents' groups has been the media.
  • Audience participation and influence over media content development is still exceedingly limited.
effect, impact;
guidance, direction;
1.1The power to shape policy or ensure favorable treatment from someone, especially through status, contacts, or wealth: the institute has considerable influence with teachers
More example sentences
  • This is because people involved in corruption include those with higher status, political influence and economic power.
  • Gold might bring power, wealth and influence, but it has wrecked as many lives as it has made.
  • In doing so he demonstrated both the power of his influence and his status as one of Lien Chan's most senior advisers.
power, authority, sway, leverage, weight, pull, standing, prestige, stature, rank
informal clout, muscle, teeth
1.2A person or thing with the capacity or power to have an effect on someone or something: Frank was a good influence on her
More example sentences
  • It allows us to claim that the reason had an influence on the production of the decision, while not causing it.
  • So I've learned from them, and I think I've probably been an influence on them.
  • Don't forget your height, build, fishing style, types of lures and experience has an influence on rod selection.
example to, (role) model for, guide for, inspiration to
1.3 Physics , archaic Electrical or magnetic induction.
Example sentences
  • When the twentieth century began we knew of only two types of natural force: gravitation and the intertwined influence of electricity and magnetism.
  • Under the influence of an electric field, the particles adhere to the panel, allowing them to stay there when the current is removed.
  • Thanks to the refraction of the magnetic field-characteristics, under the influence of the magnetic inductivity with a larger tangential component, the flipping of the flip plates becomes stable.


[with object]
Have an influence on: social forces influencing criminal behavior
More example sentences
  • It was a bizarre build up to the goal as again the weather heavily influenced the play.
  • This can be very heavily influenced by the management style of the senior people.
  • We are beginning to get a picture now that social research is influenced by a variety of factors.
affect, have an impact on, impact, determine, guide, control, shape, govern, decide;
change, alter, transform
sway, bias, prejudice, suborn;
dragoon, intimidate, browbeat, brainwash
informal twist someone's arm, lean on, put ideas into one's head


under the influence

informal Affected by alcoholic drink; drunk: he was charged with driving under the influence
More example sentences
  • Memory of detail does deteriorate with time especially if the person was under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Almost half of all murders in Scotland are committed by people under the influence of drugs or drink.
  • Three more motorists caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs have lost their licences.



Example sentences
  • It seems people really are that gullible - so if you plan on selling to gullible, easily influenceable people, then perhaps this tactic is for you.
  • But it's partially influenceable - and potentially very influenceable - by the general population.
  • In contrast to inductive or conductive heating, in this method the heat is not produced in the workplace but rather transferred by freely influenceable radiation or convection.


Example sentences
  • We aim to build on our excellent reputation as a can-do city and appeal to key influencers, senior business managers and their corporate guests.
  • People who have strong and well-informed opinions command respect and become influencers; they win deals, drive decisions, and ultimately determine the fate of companies.
  • But one of our jobs as the influencers, as people who move opinions vis-a-vis talk radio, is to say to people, look, the propensity here is to get discouraged and say it's all corruption.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from medieval Latin influentia 'inflow', from Latin influere, from in- 'into' + fluere 'to flow'. The word originally had the general sense 'an influx, flowing matter', also specifically (in astrology) 'the flowing in of ethereal fluid (affecting human destiny).' The sense 'imperceptible or indirect action exerted to cause changes' was established in Scholastic Latin by the 13th century, but not recorded in English until the late 16th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·flu·ence

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.