Definition of impact in English:



  • 1The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.

    ‘there was the sound of a third impact’
    [mass noun] ‘bullets which expand and cause devastating injury on impact’
    • ‘If a meteor impact causes a nuclear winter, then the ability to lie dormant would have improved your chances.’
    • ‘A fellow council worker, who had just got out of the vehicle and was standing close at the time of the impact, suffered serious injuries.’
    • ‘To reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries during rear impacts, a new front seat design has been adopted.’
    • ‘With residue, the raindrop impact is absorbed and erosion is reduced.’
    • ‘It is believed he died from multiple injuries caused by the impact of the collisions.’
    • ‘This technique allows the sole of the club to contact the grass at impact and slide easily under the ball.’
    • ‘She said the impact of the smash knocked the door off its hinges.’
    • ‘I actually saw three people walk into display stands - not just brushing impacts, but full-on whacks.’
    • ‘No leg muscle escapes the wrath of the roller blade and, as inline skating is a low impact exercise, it has the benefit of being easy on the joints.’
    • ‘No helmet could have prevented the head injuries received in an impact of this speed, not even an airbag.’
    • ‘Basically, due to the internal injuries from the impact, bile had contaminated the entire body cavity, making it smell foul.’
    • ‘The features that look like craters have the wrong proportions to be impact craters.’
    • ‘His passenger suffered fatal injuries in the impact.’
    • ‘All these measures, enforced by law or adopted by choice, reduce the risk of serious injury from crash impact.’
    • ‘Triton's surface has relatively few impact craters, suggesting that it is young.’
    • ‘The very sound of the word triggers associations with rubber bumpers or lips, objects that create contact, absorb impact.’
    • ‘Pollen indicates that this formation is Tertiary, coming shortly after the meteor impact at the end of the Cretaceous.’
    • ‘The car comes as standard with a driver's and front passenger's airbag as well as side curtain airbags to prevent injury in side impacts.’
    • ‘The rear safety tests measure how well a seat/head restraint protects a passenger against neck injury in rear impacts at low to moderate speeds.’
    • ‘But the extra pounds around his waist took some of the impact from the blow and prevented more serious injury.’
    collision, crash, smash, clash, bump, bang, knock, jolt, thump, whack, thwack, slam, smack
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  • 2A marked effect or influence.

    ‘our regional measures have had a significant impact on unemployment’
    • ‘We must continually evaluate the impact of each change on the product as a whole.’
    • ‘We'll examine its impact on the economy when we come back.’
    • ‘The study demonstrated that pharmacists can have a significant positive impact on drug therapy outcomes in a selected disease state.’
    • ‘Early detection, treatment and intervention are essential to minimize the long-term negative impact of maternal depression.’
    • ‘Evidence and intuition suggest that this sort of farming has a devastating impact on the environment.’
    • ‘Each of these planks has an enormous negative environmental impact and, at best, mixed economic impacts.’
    • ‘Firstly, let me reassure you, I've read your victim impact statements.’
    • ‘So the potential environmental impact is markedly reduced by that.’
    • ‘"I feel like I've had an impact off the bench, " he says.’
    • ‘All these influences have had an impact on me becoming who and what I am today.’
    • ‘Two weeks before the draft, almost everyone looks like a potential impact player.’
    • ‘The immediate impact of his intervention was to sidetrack preventative campaigns.’
    • ‘The introduction of these foreign organisms can have a devastating impact on marine environments.’
    • ‘The findings of a health impact assessment are often limited by financial and time costs.’
    • ‘European-style regulations of information collection would have a tremendous negative economic impact.’
    • ‘She made an immediate impact on the Quaker community.’
    • ‘Work with your doctor to lessen their impact on your life.’
    • ‘Moreover, advances in medicine and medical technology have had a marked impact on the process of dying.’
    • ‘The screening opinion had contemplated that a traffic impact assessment would be carried out.’
    • ‘The adverse effect immediately made an impact on the company's financial performance.’
    effect, influence, impression, footprint
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  • 1Come into forcible contact with another object.

    ‘the shell impacted twenty yards away’
    • ‘That's all he had time to do before the cold steel of a gun impacted solidly with the fragile bones of his skull.’
    • ‘It impacted with the control panel and the panel began to spark.’
    • ‘A rifle fired in the back round, the bullet impacting into his shoulder.’
    • ‘Then the ground shakes very violently as another shell impacts.’
    • ‘It will give spotting corrections to the ship calling the fall of shot until the projectiles are impacting within 50 yards of the target.’
    • ‘The percentage of rounds impacting within each zone has been determined through experimentation.’
    • ‘What was left of the fuselage impacted less then twenty yards from where he stood.’
    crash into, smash into, collide with, be in collision with, hit, strike, ram, smack into, slam into, bang into, cannon into, plough into, meet head-on, dash against
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    1. 1.1North American [with object]Come into forcible contact with.
      ‘an asteroid impacted the earth some 60 million years ago’
      • ‘The biggest concern is for low-lying areas on the southeast of the island that will be impacted, we understand, by dawn tomorrow.’
      • ‘This eruption may cause auroral displays and magnetic storm activity when it impacts the Earth's magnetic field sometime Friday.’
      • ‘He saw a suddenly flash, and he was almost knocked off his feet as a weapon impacted the outer shields of the transport.’
      • ‘We had earlier thought Cuba might be impacted by Sunday, but now it looks like the storm is really going to slow down.’
      • ‘Quite what a flying jellyfish looks like as it impacts the faceplate of your snorkel mask is still a mystery to me, but they seemed to be enjoying it.’
      • ‘Bullets whistle by from right to left and even bullets impacting the dirt sound real.’
      • ‘Depending on the orientation of the magnetic field carried by the CME cloud, it may cause a magnetic storm when it impacts the Earth's own magnetic field.’
      • ‘To punctuate that thought, she let rip with a six-round burst, the rounds impacting the windshield.’
      • ‘It impacted a tank just seconds before a near miss knocked the right track from their Bradley.’
      • ‘He knew that if even one missile impacted a ship, it would cause serious damage and destruction.’
      • ‘This is not to say that the effect of a charging horse impacting a foot soldier was inconsequential, or even incidental.’
      • ‘The tropical storm force winds are likely to be impacting the southeast Florida coast by then, and the hurricane force winds will likely reach the coast by tomorrow night.’
      • ‘Bullets impacted the floor around me as I pulled the trigger and fired back.’
      • ‘I nearly winced as my fist collided with a heavy hand, blocking it from impacting his face.’
      • ‘We scrambled in opposite directions just as the foot came straight down impacting the earth below.’
      • ‘Trying to save his crew and himself he guided the Liberator as it crashed through trees and impacted the ground on an almost even keel.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Press (something) firmly.
      ‘the animals' feet do not impact and damage the soil as cows' hooves do’
      • ‘Complications of constipation occur when faeces are impacted so hard within the bowel that the wall perforates, leading to potentially fatal infections in the body cavity.’
  • 2Have a strong effect on someone or something.

    ‘high interest rates have impacted on retail spending’
    [with object] ‘the move is not expected to impact the company's employees’
    • ‘To trust someone involves taking a risk, as you are letting someone else impact what happens to you.’
    • ‘I think everybody realises that when you have development some areas obviously will be impacted on and nobody can deny that.’
    • ‘There are a couple of significant factors impacting our rural economy today.’
    • ‘It has impacted on local businesses within the area and upon our personal and family lives.’
    • ‘Osteoporosis and fractures resulting from it can significantly impact on the quality of life of organ transplant recipients.’
    • ‘As groups, they were expected to retain strong cultural links that impacted on family structures and child raising patterns.’
    • ‘How has that impacted on your thinking in all of this?’
    • ‘Turning to helicopters, he said a number of factors impacted negatively on the air force's operational readiness.’
    • ‘Women are often disregarded in decision-making and camp management, even when the decisions directly impact their daily lives.’
    • ‘No other media seemed to realize that Bermuda was impacted on a very large scale.’
    • ‘In the chapter on children there is a description of their games on the street and discussion on how the family's problems impacted on the children.’
    • ‘He blamed the slow increase in rural incomes as the major factor impacting adversely on the expansion of domestic demand.’
    • ‘Weather conditions might also impact negatively on voter turnout.’
    • ‘The privatisation of politics has also impacted on political elites.’
    • ‘The bottom line is that the Government dividends impact directly on programme quality.’
    • ‘‘It has impacted on a number of businesses,’ he said.’
    • ‘Systems that directly impact our ability to accomplish our mission should be the first on our list.’
    • ‘Name one sport, one hobby or one past-time that hasn't been impacted on by the times we live in.’
    • ‘Wouldn't it adversely impact our ability to function in the world?’
    • ‘Several factors inherent to contemporary economics also impact adversely on the prospects for teaching Marxism.’
    affect, influence, have an effect, have an influence, exert influence, make an impression, act, work
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The phrasal verb impact on, as in when produce is lost, it always impacts on the bottom line, has been in the language since the 1960s. Many people disapprove of it, saying that make an impact on or other equivalent wordings should be used instead. This may be partly because, in general, new formations of verbs from nouns (as in the case of impact, action, and task) are regarded as somehow inferior; in addition, since the verbal use of impact is associated with business and commercial writing, it has the unenviable status of ‘jargon’, which makes it doubly disliked. Compare with enthuse


Early 17th century (as a verb in the sense ‘press closely, fix firmly’): from Latin impact- driven in, from the verb impingere (see impinge).