8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary


[n. im-pakt; v. im-pakt] /n. ˈɪm pækt; v. ɪmˈpækt/
the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision:
The impact of the colliding cars broke the windshield.
an impinging:
the impact of light on the eye.
influence; effect:
the impact of Einstein on modern physics.
an impacting; forcible impinging:
the tremendous impact of the shot.
the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology:
the impact of the industrial revolution.
verb (used with object)
to drive or press closely or firmly into something; pack in.
to fill up; congest; throng:
A vast crowd impacted St. Peter's Square.
to collide with; strike forcefully:
a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars.
to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter:
The decision may impact your whole career. The auto industry will be impacted by the new labor agreements.
verb (used without object)
to have impact or make contact forcefully:
The ball impacted against the bat with a loud noise.
to have an impact or effect:
Increased demand will impact on sales.
1775-85; (noun and v.) back formation from impacted
Related forms
nonimpact, noun, adjective
postimpact, adjective
Usage note
The verb impact has developed the transitive sense “to have an impact or effect on” (The structured reading program has done more to impact the elementary schools than any other single factor) and the intransitive sense “to have an impact or effect” (The work done at the computer center will impact on the economy of Illinois and the nation). Although recent, the new uses are entirely standard and most likely to occur in formal speech and writing. See also impactful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for impacts
  • More than that and you start to get quite negative impacts.
  • But there are no sustainable impacts once the money stops.
  • Davidson hopes that the stamps will make people aware of design and how it impacts their lives.
  • Its a case of scientists looking to do studies showing adverse impacts of global warming.
  • Other impacts depend on the wind, the currents and the success of the various engineering initiatives.
  • The priority, in any case, is managing the impacts of the current drought and being better prepared for the next one.
  • Regulators do occasionally cite employment impacts as one of the reasons they sometimes turn down a rule.
  • It's easy to see how a new gadget or software impacts your daily life.
  • Endogenous policy had two important, distinct impacts.
  • When this phenomenon of free-trade comes home in terms of job-impacts, there is an outcry and surprise.
British Dictionary definitions for impacts


noun (ˈɪmpækt)
the act of one body, object, etc, striking another; collision
the force with which one thing hits another or with which two objects collide
the impression made by an idea, cultural movement, social group, etc: the impact of the Renaissance on Medieval Europe
verb (ɪmˈpækt)
to drive or press (an object) firmly into (another object, thing, etc) or (of two objects) to be driven or pressed firmly together
to have an impact or strong effect (on)
Derived Forms
impaction, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin impactus pushed against, fastened on, from impingere to thrust at, from pangere to drive in
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
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Word Origin and History for impacts



c.1600, "press closely into something," from Latin impactus, past participle of impingere "to push into, dash against, thrust at" (see impinge). Originally sense preserved in impacted teeth (1876). Sense of "strike forcefully against something" first recorded 1916. Figurative sense of "have a forceful effect on" is from 1935. Related: Impacting.


1781, "collision," from impact (v.). Figurative sense of "forceful impression" is from 1817 (Coleridge).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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