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[im-presh-uh n] /ɪmˈprɛʃ ən/
a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.
the first and immediate effect of an experience or perception upon the mind; sensation.
the effect produced by an agency or influence.
a notion, remembrance, belief, etc., often of a vague or indistinct nature:
He had a general impression of lights, voices, and the clinking of silver.
a mark, indentation, figure, etc., produced by pressure.
an image in the mind caused by something external to it.
the act of impressing; state of being impressed.
Dentistry. a mold taken, in plastic materials or plaster of Paris, of teeth and the surrounding tissues.
an imitation of the voice, mannerisms, and other traits of a person, especially a famous person, as by an entertainer:
The comedian did a hilarious impression of the president.
Chiefly Printing.
  1. the process or result of printing from type, plates, etc.
  2. a printed copy from type, a plate, an engraved block, etc.
  3. one of a number of printings made at different times from the same set of type, without alteration (distinguished from edition).
  4. the total number of copies of a book, pamphlet, etc., printed at one time from one setting of type or from one set of plates.
Metalworking. a portion of a die having in reverse the intended form of an object to be forged.
1325-75; Middle English impressio(u)n < Latin impressiōn- (stem of impressiō), equivalent to impress(us) (see impress1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
impressional, adjective
impressionally, adverb
impressionless, adjective
preimpression, noun
2. impact, imprint. 4. feeling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impressions
  • But there is no denying extra freshness, extra sparkle, to a seasoned observer's first impressions.
  • Even better, the last skeleton found that season was a nearly-complete hadrosaur, including numerous skin impressions.
  • The lingering impressions are of power, cold and metallic.
  • Initial impressions of the crater as a lifeless wasteland are quickly dispelled.
  • Kids form cultural impressions early, deciding where and how they'll fit into the world.
  • It is amazing to see how many of the comments in this discussion are based on feelings, impressions, and unverified statements.
  • They say you can't judge a book by its cover but, with planets, first impressions do count.
  • And they compared the patients' impressions of what had happened with their hospital records.
  • Those initial bleak impressions were based on aerial views.
  • It could be that my impressions have been wrong or that technology has significantly changed.
British Dictionary definitions for impressions


an effect produced in the mind by a stimulus; sensation: he gave the impression of wanting to help
an imprint or mark produced by pressing: he left the impression of his finger in the mud
a vague idea, consciousness, or belief: I had the impression we had met before
a strong, favourable, or remarkable effect: he made an impression on the managers
the act of impressing or the state of being impressed
  1. the act, process, or result of printing from type, plates, etc
  2. one of a number of printings of a publication printed from the same setting of type with no or few alterations Compare edition (sense 2)
  3. the total number of copies of a publication printed at one time
(dentistry) an imprint of the teeth and gums, esp in wax or plaster, for use in preparing crowns, inlays, or dentures
an imitation or impersonation: he did a funny impression of the politician
Derived Forms
impressional, adjective
impressionally, adverb
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 impressions



late 14c., "mark produced by pressure," also "image produced in the mind or emotions," from Old French impression "print, stamp; a pressing on the mind," from Latin impressionem (nominative impressio) "onset, attack," figuratively "perception," literally "a pressing into," from imprimere (see impress). Meaning "act or process of indenting" is early 15c.; that of "printing of a number of copies" is from 1570s. Meaning "belief, vague notion" (as in under the impression) is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impressions in Medicine

impression im·pres·sion (ĭm-prěsh'ən)

  1. An effect, a feeling, or an image retained as a consequence of experience.

  2. A mark or indentation made by the pressure of one organ on the surface of another.

  3. An imprint of the teeth and surrounding tissues, formed with a plastic material that hardens into a mold for use in making dentures, inlays, or plastic models.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with impressions
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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