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[im-pres-iv] /ɪmˈprɛs ɪv/
having the ability to impress the mind; arousing admiration, awe, respect, etc.; moving; admirable:
an impressive ceremony; an impressive appearance.
Origin of impressive
1585-95; impress1 + -ive
Related forms
impressively, adverb
impressiveness, noun
preimpressive, adjective
unimpressive, adjective
unimpressively, adverb
Can be confused
impressionable, impressive.
imposing, awesome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impressive
  • They will write impressive books, give inspiring lectures, organize exciting cults.
  • What's impressive about their argument is that it is underpinned by the powerful theoretical machinery of thermodynamics.
  • The more apps a college receives, and rejects, the more impressive it seems.
  • Indigenous peoples also hunt gelada and use their impressive manes in traditional coming-of-age ceremonies.
  • Astronomers have tracked the movement of a pulsar, making the first direct measurement of its impressive speed.
  • It is described as a clean animal with impressive horns that could cause injury.
  • Given their glamorous appearance and considerable cachet, orchids make impressive gifts.
  • Your graphics card won't be put to the test here, but the game still looks impressive.
  • And impressive initiatives have popped up throughout the nation.
  • His book is an impressive account of a world that few readers of this newspaper will recognise.
British Dictionary definitions for impressive


capable of impressing, esp by size, magnificence, etc; awe-inspiring; commanding
Derived Forms
impressively, adverb
impressiveness, noun
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 impressive

1570s, "capable of being easily impressed," from impress + -ive. Meaning "capable of making an impression on the mind or senses" is from 1775. Related: Impressively; impressiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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