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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “I warned you that he was coming,” Obadiah continued, impressively.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
  • "I don't know the meaning of the word," said Harriet impressively.

  • The girl seemed to nerve herself for an effort, and when she spoke her voice was impressively quiet.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • Benevolence radiated from him ridiculously, mildly, impressively.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Up the street apiece he broke silence and said impressively: "It was a lie—that is my opinion of it!"

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
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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