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[im-pinj] /ɪmˈpɪndʒ/
verb (used without object), impinged, impinging.
to make an impression; have an effect or impact (usually followed by on or upon):
to impinge upon the imagination; social pressures that impinge upon one's daily life.
to encroach; infringe (usually followed by on or upon):
to impinge on another's rights.
to strike; dash; collide (usually followed by on, upon, or against):
rays of light impinging on the eye.
verb (used with object), impinged, impinging.
Obsolete. to come into violent contact with.
Origin of impinge
1525-35; < Medieval Latin impingere to strike against, drive at, equivalent to Latin im- im-1 + -pingere, combining form of pangere to fasten, drive in, fix; see impact
Related forms
impingent, adjective
impinger, noun
impingement, noun
unimpinging, adjective
Can be confused
infringe, impinge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impinge upon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But suppose the waves generated by one system of molecules to impinge upon another system, how will the waves be affected?

  • He was the only man in England whose career might impinge upon mine.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
  • The correct bearing should take in the whole of the wall and the whole of the white line, and should just impinge upon the sole.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot Harry Caulton Reeks
  • But this fact did not impinge upon Harley now, when he read the despatch preparatory to filing it at Chicago.

    The Candidate Joseph Alexander Altsheler
  • At the same time a wave of intense virility seemed to surge out from him and impinge upon her.

    Martin Eden Jack London
  • Others are solid, round, bulky, and stagger when they strike you or impinge upon the world.

    The Wonderful Story of Ravalette Paschal Beverly Randolph
  • Sound comes to us in the guise of air-waves, which impinge upon the drum of the ear.

    Spirit and Music H. Ernest Hunt
  • At length, in its turn, the track of totality begins to impinge upon the earth.

    Astronomy of To-day Cecil G. Dolmage
British Dictionary definitions for impinge upon


(intransitive; usually foll by on or upon) to encroach or infringe; trespass: to impinge on someone's time
(intransitive; usually foll by on, against, or upon) to collide (with); strike
Derived Forms
impingement, noun
impinger, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin impingere to drive at, dash against, from pangere to fasten, 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 impinge upon



1530s, "fasten or fix forcibly," from Latin impingere "drive into, strike against," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pangere "to fix, fasten" (see pact). Sense of "encroach, infringe" first recorded 1738. Related: Impinged; impinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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