Definition of impact in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪmpakt/
1The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another: there was the sound of a third impact [mass noun]: bullets which expand and cause devastating injury on impact
More example sentences
  • It is believed he died from multiple injuries caused by the impact of the collisions.
  • This technique allows the sole of the club to contact the grass at impact and slide easily under the ball.
  • She said the impact of the smash knocked the door off its hinges.
collision, crash, smash, clash, bump, bang, knock, jolt, thump, whack, thwack, slam, smack;
2A marked effect or influence: our regional measures have had a significant impact on unemployment
More example sentences
  • The adverse effect immediately made an impact on the company's financial performance.
  • All these influences have had an impact on me becoming who and what I am today.
  • Moreover, advances in medicine and medical technology have had a marked impact on the process of dying.
effect, influence, impression, footprint;
informal pay-off


Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpakt/
[no object]
1Come into forcible contact with another object: the shell impacted twenty yards away
More example sentences
  • Then the ground shakes very violently as another shell impacts.
  • It will give spotting corrections to the ship calling the fall of shot until the projectiles are impacting within 50 yards of the target.
  • What was left of the fuselage impacted less then twenty yards from where he stood.
1.1 [with object] chiefly North American Come into forcible contact with: an asteroid impacted the earth some 60 million years ago
More example sentences
  • This eruption may cause auroral displays and magnetic storm activity when it impacts the Earth's magnetic field sometime Friday.
  • Depending on the orientation of the magnetic field carried by the CME cloud, it may cause a magnetic storm when it impacts the Earth's own magnetic field.
  • The tropical storm force winds are likely to be impacting the southeast Florida coast by then, and the hurricane force winds will likely reach the coast by tomorrow night.
1.2 [with object] Press (something) firmly: the animals‘ feet do not impact and damage the soil as cows’ hooves do
More example sentences
  • Complications of constipation occur when faeces are impacted so hard within the bowel that the wall perforates, leading to potentially fatal infections in the body cavity.
2 (impact on) Have a strong effect on someone or something: high interest rates have impacted on retail spending [with object]: the move is not expected to impact the company’s employees
More example sentences
  • As groups, they were expected to retain strong cultural links that impacted on family structures and child raising patterns.
  • Name one sport, one hobby or one past-time that hasn't been impacted on by the times we live in.
  • No other media seemed to realize that Bermuda was impacted on a very large scale.
affect, influence, have an effect, have an influence, exert influence, make an impression, act, work;
strike, hit, touch, change, alter, modify, transform, shape, control, govern, determine, decide, sway, bias


The phrasal verb impact on, as in when produce is lost, it always impacts on the bottom line, has been in the language since the 1960s. Many people disapprove of it, saying that make an impact on or other equivalent wordings should be used instead. This may be partly because, in general, new formations of verbs from nouns (as in the case of impact, action, and task) are regarded as somehow inferior; in addition, since the verbal use of impact is associated with business and commercial writing, it has the unenviable status of ‘jargon’, which makes it doubly disliked. Compare with enthuse (usage).


Early 17th century (as a verb in the sense 'press closely, fix firmly'): from Latin impact- 'driven in', from the verb impingere (see impinge).

  • impinge from mid 16th century:

    The word impinge is from Latin impingere ‘drive something in or at’, from in- ‘into’ and pangere ‘fix, drive’. The word originally meant ‘thrust at forcibly’. Impact (early 17th century) comes from the past form of the same source.

Words that rhyme with impact

abreact, abstract, act, attract, bract, compact, contract, counteract, diffract, enact, exact, extract, fact, humpbacked, interact, matter-of-fact, pact, protract, redact, refract, retroact, subcontract, subtract, tact, tract, transact, unbacked, underact, untracked

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: im¦pact

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