Definition of impression in English:



  • 1An idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence.

    ‘his first impressions of Manchester were very positive’
    ‘I got the impression that he was sorely disappointed’
    • ‘Language is a means to communicate ideas and impressions, its development influenced by the environment, by physiological and psychological traits.’
    • ‘Peter's letter in the last issue may have given some people the wrong impression.’
    • ‘From this beginning, please use the ten directions below and document your thoughts, feelings, impressions at each of the ten stages.’
    • ‘Here I would like to share my personal impressions of the event, as well as make a few related observations.’
    • ‘Even more interesting is our common sense intuition that first impressions are, more often than not, roughly correct.’
    • ‘He manages the feat of being at once soft-spoken and opinionated - giving the impression that he genuinely doesn't care what other people think of him.’
    • ‘They use the analogy of a broken window - if a broken window in a building is not repaired then the other windows will soon be broken too because people get the impression that nobody cares.’
    • ‘As she explains: ‘The strongest impression on me was the silence, the absence of human presence and the scale and beauty of the icebergs.’’
    • ‘But she gave the impression she had no idea of the level of abilities and needs of the client group concerned.’
    • ‘My first impression is that this idea needs some rethinking or, at least, a cost-benefit analysis.’
    • ‘The manager gave the impression that the whole idea was a distant fantasy unworthy of immediate attention on Friday, but there was an element of enthusiasm too.’
    • ‘What makes it noteworthy is the audio portion, which is essentially a mini-interview with Jeanne Moreau about her impressions and opinions of the film.’
    • ‘He was eager to share his impressions and opinions on my writings.’
    • ‘Look, we know people form impressions within the first few minutes.’
    • ‘Once an impression or conviction takes hold, it stays there, with stubborn intensity.’
    • ‘Our initial, favourable impressions were confirmed as soon as the bread arrived.’
    • ‘My impression is that his opinions were built on several myths and false assumptions.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Alex got the distinct impression that Lori was running away from something.’
    • ‘And if what we think is true is based on wrong ideas or impressions, the results can be devastating.’
    • ‘But I've outlined above how I will deal with it, and my thoughts, feelings and impressions on the subject.’
    feeling, sense, fancy, suspicion, sneaking suspicion, inkling, intuition, hunch, apprehension
    opinion, view, conception, image, picture, perception, judgement, verdict, estimation
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    1. 1.1 An effect produced on someone.
      ‘her courtesy had made a good impression’
      • ‘There are always people you know by name and face because they really haven't changed all that much and they left quite an impression on you even after all these years.’
      • ‘But he has made such an impression on staff, students and parents that they have nominated him for a National Excellence in Teaching Award.’
      • ‘The Niagara Falls are not the widest or highest waterfalls in the world but their energy and magnificent beauty makes a deep impression on those lucky enough to have seen them.’
      • ‘His latest film has failed to make much of an impression on US critics, following its Christmas Day release in America.’
      • ‘Truthfully, he didn't make much of an impression on me.’
      • ‘Burns made a lasting impression on Irish writers, who drew both literary and political inspiration from a figure who crossed barriers of class, language, and nation in liberating ways.’
      • ‘I do know that Benedict left a lasting impression on our family, he made us slow down, savour life, and treasure our other children even more.’
      • ‘I remember I was taken to see a private collection at the age of 15 and that certainly made an impression on me.’
      • ‘Then when I was 13, I read Nietzsche for the first time, and though I didn't understand him completely, he made a big impression on me.’
      • ‘In just 30 seconds, a commercial can create an indelible impression in the minds of consumers.’
      • ‘He was hoping to make some kind of impression on his audience.’
      • ‘His experiences made an indelible impression on him.’
      • ‘Her decision not to testify had left a bad impression on the jurors, despite the judge specifically ordering them not to read anything into it.’
      • ‘She made a lasting impression on me - from major decisions like studying Chemistry at university to small things like the way I write my capital E's when doing block capitals.’
      • ‘She added that if the city made a good impression on such visitors, there could be a spin-off benefit if they returned to York at a later date with their families or friends for a holiday.’
      • ‘The courage and strength she found after going through these terrible events, and the courage and strength she drew from her surviving family, made an enormous impression on me.’
      • ‘It made a strong impression on me and, with other influences, led to my refusing to register with the Selective Service System two years later.’
      • ‘Now I don't know about other women, but when I'm choosing my look for the day or night men are the furthest thing from my mind, unless I am trying to create an impression on a particular guy.’
      • ‘First inspections in the competition are due anytime during the month of June, and we should strive to make a good impression on the judges first time round.’
      • ‘A good handshake makes a lasting, favorable impression.’
      impact, effect, influence
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    2. 1.2mass noun A difference made by the action or presence of someone or something.
      ‘the floor was too dirty for the mop to make much impression’
      • ‘Over the years, punk, heavy metal, grunge, disco and dance have come and, in some cases, gone, but none have made the slightest impression on Motorhead's brutal oeuvre.’
      • ‘Up front the forwards made no impression and the fact that they failed to score tells its own story.’
  • 2An imitation of a person or thing, done to entertain.

    ‘he did an impression of Shirley Bassey’
    • ‘And I amused everyone at Urgent Care with my stunning impressions of ocean animals.’
    • ‘If people aren't doing impressions of him in order to try and win Oscars, they're ghoulishly buying up the house where he lived for 35 years.’
    • ‘Luca's smiled softened when faced with her perfect impression of a small animal caught in the headlights of a large truck.’
    • ‘Harold entertained everyone with impressions of his namesake, Evans.’
    • ‘Owen laughed and I continued entertaining him with impressions until we pulled up to the curb of his house.’
    • ‘Yes, I've been told that I look like I am doing a Carl Sagan impression, but that was simply the way I spoke, mon ami.’
    impersonation, imitation, mimicry
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    1. 2.1 A graphic or pictorial representation of someone or something.
      ‘police issued an artist's impression of the attacker’
      • ‘Displays will include copies of the plans submitted to Ryedale District Council and artist's impressions showing how the defences will look.’
      • ‘Groundworks Architects have released artists' impressions detailing how the former Victorian magistrate's court in the heart of Otley will be changed.’
      • ‘Artists' impressions have been drawn up to simulate how the classroom could look, with a boggy area designed to encourage frogs and other insects to the land.’
      • ‘These are artists' impressions, and these artists are not architects.’
      • ‘Drawings along the way captured the artist's impressions of the trip.’
      • ‘Police believe the two incidents are connected and are appealing for witnesses, releasing artist impressions of three men linked with the raid this week.’
      • ‘Sources close to the project told Scotland on Sunday that while artists' impressions and outline plans exist for the roof, the technical details of how it will be built have still not been worked out.’
      • ‘Of course the pictures here are just artist's impressions of what they looked like, because they died long ago and I have never heard of any pictures of them.’
      • ‘More than any other medium, our perception of architecture is increasingly mediated through renders, walkthroughs and glossy artist's impressions.’
      • ‘From Byzantine mosaics to pastel impressions by Mary Cassatt, ‘mother and child’ as a theme in art has proven to be timeless.’
      • ‘An artist's impressions of the Lismore Cultural Precinct from Keen Street, with the new combined art gallery/museum that will be a major feature of the site.’
      • ‘Can you give us details of the refurbishment which Odeon planned for the building, including artists' impressions?’
      • ‘Artist impressions of what a Trowbridge shopping precinct and a former superstore could look like after a £25m revamp have been released to the public.’
      • ‘The detailed drawings and artists' impressions will on display at the County Ground between 1pm and 8pm.’
      • ‘Outline Planning permission was granted and design plans, together with artists' impressions were made available.’
      • ‘They object to the size of the flats, which would be up to three-and-a-half storeys high, and have produced their own artists' impressions of what the development could look like.’
      • ‘Not having seen the artist's impressions for the original Coppergate development, I cannot say whether they were good or not.’
      • ‘Detectives circulated artists' impressions of the attacker, security was stepped up at the university and undercover police patrols were mobilised in the area.’
      • ‘The four pictures are modern impressions of Lancaster scenes and a donation from each sale will go straight to the city based charity.’
      • ‘For a few days, starting today, an artist's impressions of a new-look town centre will be on display in the Harpur Suite in the town centre and staff will be on hand to discuss the latest ideas for revamping the area.’
      representation, portrayal, depiction, rendition, rendering, interpretation, picture, drawing
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  • 3A mark impressed on a surface.

    ‘the impression of his body on the leaves’
    • ‘Adjacent to the Sutter Creek site, tire impressions and shoe prints were found in the soil adjacent to the area of egress.’
    • ‘In some instances, flat clay slabs have been found with the oblong symbols for numbers impressed on their surfaces together with many impressions of cylinder seals.’
    • ‘His boot tip tapped at an impression left in soft red clay for my inspection.’
    • ‘Signatures or thumb impressions were obtained on consent forms and a copy left with the family.’
    • ‘He outlined the impression with his fingers as the rain filled it with water.’
    • ‘Further on there is a group of smaller sections of cave containing painted figures, others delineated by finger impressions in the soft clay, and small plastic representations of animals in clay.’
    • ‘Each landed directly on Grand's body, making small impressions but otherwise leaving the creature be.’
    • ‘In one of the trenches, possible animal footprints or impressions have been found.’
    • ‘The images show the differences between what was presented at trial and what a full fingerprint impression would have shown.’
    • ‘Ideas were conjured up at an inspiration day a year ago, but the most popular was to take impressions of people's hands, with the help of a local artist, and display them in the village as a work of art.’
    • ‘The helmet is marked XL with an impression in the crushable foam.’
    • ‘The point of entry can be marked with an impression from a thumbnail, a needle cap, or an indelible ink pen.’
    • ‘Around the inside of the doorway was a loop of clay that seems to have acted as a water-excluder, and surviving in the clay surface was the impression of the wooden door that once hung there.’
    • ‘The New Mexico tracks may be impressions made by the animal's forearms and two-digit ‘hands.’’
    • ‘Another advantage of using a mounted stamp is the guarantee of a hard surface and quality impression with every imprint.’
    • ‘You can then make shallow impressions on the surface of the ash.’
    • ‘The outcome was an abstract painting made up of stamps or impressions of a paint-covered ball.’
    • ‘Yet another form of predicting ones future is through ‘naadi jyotisham’, where predictions are made after taking the thumb impression of a person.’
    • ‘If you look closely, you can see the impressions left by the artist's fingers as they were dragged through the red clay that was part of the foundation for the liquid, colourless resin.’
    indentation, dent, hollow, concavity, depression, dip, mark, outline, stamp, stamping, imprint
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    1. 3.1Dentistry A negative copy of the teeth or mouth made by pressing them into a soft substance.
      • ‘Once the gum around the implant has healed, your dentist can take impressions to allow the crown, bridge or denture to be made.’
      • ‘This action will create an impression of the top teeth in the rubber material.’
      • ‘Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a kind of putty and send these to a laboratory where the splint is made.’
      • ‘A dog-bite expert, who analysed dental impressions of Charlie's teeth, concluded that Mr Green's injuries were not caused by a dog.’
      • ‘After an initial consultation, your dentist creates an impression of your teeth and sends it to a lab where veneers are custom-made.’
  • 4The printing of a number of copies of a book, periodical, or picture for issue at one time.

    edition, issue, copy
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    1. 4.1British usually with modifier A particular printed version of a book, especially one reprinted from existing type, plates, or film with no or only minor alteration.
      ‘a copy of the first impression’
      • ‘In some books he used three impressions: one for staves, another for notes and other musical signs, and the third for the text.’
      • ‘Of all the books' multiple impressions, two in particular stand out.’
      • ‘A second impression was issued nine months after the first and Dodgson began to plan a sequel.’
      • ‘Reprints - Reprints are impressions made from the original block but after the first edition.’
      print run, printing, imprinting, imprint, reprint, issue, edition, version, publication
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    2. 4.2 A print taken from an engraving.
      • ‘And when the block was used up by too many impressions, a new woodblock was carved - provided there was enough demand from the market for new copies.’
      • ‘The impressions of many Yokohama prints are often fair to poor.’
      • ‘He produced a huge body of work in woodcut, etching, and lithography, but each print usually exists in only a few impressions, as he liked to print his work himself.’
      • ‘A silk screen impression of a heroine from yesteryear sitting in a languid pose declaring her self-awareness is juxtaposed with the modern.’
      • ‘A mezzotint plate produced fewer impressions than a line engraving, but the engravers bewailed its invention, as being an easier and more facile process.’
      • ‘If furthermore the impression is lousy with broken lines from worn blocks, you can be sure that it is a late edition.’
      • ‘Hardly more than 2,000 impressions could be taken from a woodblock without a rather visible deterioration of quality.’
      • ‘Wood engraving allows to make finer lines than woodcuts and more impressions from the same block.’
      • ‘Then he must recarve the second image into the remainder of the same block, apply the second color and print over the impressions of the first step.’
      • ‘Besides, because of the harder wood, more impressions were possible from one block.’
      • ‘At least some of these more modern impressions may have been printed with sepia-colored ink instead of the black used in earlier examples.’
      • ‘Each impression in a print edition was different - thereby erasing the idea that they should all be the same.’
      • ‘For example, 97/200 means that this is the 97th impression out of an edition of 200 prints.’
      • ‘Like for a woodcut, hardly more than 2000 or 3000 impressions could be obtained from one plate.’
      • ‘With each copy printed from a woodblock, the impression quality worsened due to the wear of the block.’
  • 5An instance of a pop-up or other online advertisement being seen on an Internet user's monitor.

    • ‘To thank the customers, Microsoft is donating 201 million online ad impressions to charitable causes.’
    • ‘The Register has 10 million page impressions and 750,000 or so readers a month.’
    • ‘In December, the site broke the five million page impressions mark for the first time since it first went online in the summer of 1996.’
    • ‘Together the two portals record over 12 million page impressions per month.’
    • ‘FT. com claims 22 million page impressions per month and £6 million annual advertising revenues from its site.’
    • ‘Kelly also argues that unique user and page impression data are meaningless to advertisers as they do not in any way reflect the number of individuals going online.’
    • ‘Nobody buys full-run advertising on a site like that; major ad purchases are based on cost per thousand measured advertising impressions.’
    • ‘Lycos currently do not provide keyword, impression or click-through stats, although they do intend to offer them in the near future.’


  • under the impression that

    • Believing, mistakenly or on the basis of little evidence, that something is the case.

      ‘he was under the impression that they had become friends’
      • ‘I was under the impression that all questions were vetted by you before they went on to the Order Paper.’
      • ‘Apart from the head teacher and the deputy we were under the impression that everyone will keep their jobs and be moved across but no one has told us for certain.’
      • ‘I was also under the impression that there was something in the American constitution about freedom of speech.’
      • ‘Others are under the impression that increasing the speed limit will somehow alleviate our traffic congestion problem.’
      • ‘You are under the impression that this matters far more than it really does.’
      • ‘She was under the impression that there was going to be a dance performance by the Russian girls.’
      • ‘You know, people are always under the impression that those who live in L.A. are weird.’
      • ‘Statements by Muhammad in court the following day made clear he was under the impression he was still represented by his Maryland attorneys.’
      • ‘The Claimant was under the impression that there was no need to pursue the asylum appeal if his work permit was approved.’
      • ‘I was under the impression that the dance program was known within its own campus and internationally.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin impressio(n-), from impress- ‘pressed in’, from the verb imprimere (see imprint).