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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 impressively
  • Both bear powder-puff flowers with impressively long stamens from spring to fall.
  • The upper left ab pops out impressively from the effort of lugging five-gallon water jugs into our kitchen.
  • The political knowledge of the average voter has been tested repeatedly, and the scores are impressively low.
  • The interaction between blocks is impressively smooth.
  • Using pig hairs as stilts may give ants impressively long strides, but it throws off their step-counting navigational technique.
  • Not only did they track the scent impressively well, but they also improved with practice.
  • Bamboo compares even more impressively with concrete and steel.
  • Not only did the antibodies protect against malaria but they did so impressively.
  • Most impressively of all, he made an icosahedron by fusing three distinct subunits.
  • First, that's an impressively positive spin on a bad day, so points for creativity.
British Dictionary definitions for impressively


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 impressively



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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