Definition of impression in US 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’
    ‘they give the impression that all is sweetness and light’
    • ‘From this beginning, please use the ten directions below and document your thoughts, feelings, impressions at each of the ten stages.’
    • ‘As she explains: ‘The strongest impression on me was the silence, the absence of human presence and the scale and beauty of the icebergs.’’
    • ‘Language is a means to communicate ideas and impressions, its development influenced by the environment, by physiological and psychological traits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our initial, favourable impressions were confirmed as soon as the bread arrived.’
    • ‘Look, we know people form impressions within the first few minutes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Peter's letter in the last issue may have given some people the wrong impression.’
    • ‘My impression is that his opinions were built on several myths and false assumptions.’
    • ‘Once an impression or conviction takes hold, it stays there, with stubborn intensity.’
    • ‘But I've outlined above how I will deal with it, and my thoughts, feelings and impressions on the subject.’
    • ‘Here I would like to share my personal impressions of the event, as well as make a few related observations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was eager to share his impressions and opinions on my writings.’
    • ‘And if what we think is true is based on wrong ideas or impressions, the results can be devastating.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Alex got the distinct impression that Lori was running away from something.’
    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 and quick wit had made a good impression’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His experiences made an indelible impression on him.’
      • ‘Truthfully, he didn't make much of an impression on me.’
      • ‘I remember I was taken to see a private collection at the age of 15 and that certainly made an impression on me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But he has made such an impression on staff, students and parents that they have nominated him for a National Excellence in Teaching Award.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His latest film has failed to make much of an impression on US critics, following its Christmas Day release in America.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was hoping to make some kind of impression on his audience.’
      • ‘A good handshake makes a lasting, favorable impression.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      impact, effect, influence
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    2. 1.2 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, especially one done to entertain.

    ‘he did an impression of Frank Sinatra’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Owen laughed and I continued entertaining him with impressions until we pulled up to the curb of his house.’
    impersonation, imitation, mimicry
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    1. 2.1 A graphic or pictorial representation of someone or something.
      ‘the police have issued an artist's impression of the attacker’
      • ‘More than any other medium, our perception of architecture is increasingly mediated through renders, walkthroughs and glossy artist's impressions.’
      • ‘Outline Planning permission was granted and design plans, together with artists' impressions were made available.’
      • ‘Groundworks Architects have released artists' impressions detailing how the former Victorian magistrate's court in the heart of Otley will be changed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Detectives circulated artists' impressions of the attacker, security was stepped up at the university and undercover police patrols were mobilised in the area.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Displays will include copies of the plans submitted to Ryedale District Council and artist's impressions showing how the defences will look.’
      • ‘The four pictures are modern impressions of Lancaster scenes and a donation from each sale will go straight to the city based charity.’
      • ‘Not having seen the artist's impressions for the original Coppergate development, I cannot say whether they were good or not.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From Byzantine mosaics to pastel impressions by Mary Cassatt, ‘mother and child’ as a theme in art has proven to be timeless.’
      • ‘These are artists' impressions, and these artists are not architects.’
      • ‘The detailed drawings and artists' impressions will on display at the County Ground between 1pm and 8pm.’
      • ‘Police believe the two incidents are connected and are appealing for witnesses, releasing artist impressions of three men linked with the raid this week.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Drawings along the way captured the artist's impressions of the trip.’
      • ‘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.’
      representation, portrayal, depiction, rendition, rendering, interpretation, picture, drawing
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  • 3A mark impressed on a surface by something.

    ‘the impression of his body on the leaves’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He outlined the impression with his fingers as the rain filled it with water.’
    • ‘In one of the trenches, possible animal footprints or impressions have been found.’
    • ‘You can then make shallow impressions on the surface of the ash.’
    • ‘Adjacent to the Sutter Creek site, tire impressions and shoe prints were found in the soil adjacent to the area of egress.’
    • ‘Another advantage of using a mounted stamp is the guarantee of a hard surface and quality impression with every imprint.’
    • ‘Yet another form of predicting ones future is through ‘naadi jyotisham’, where predictions are made after taking the thumb impression of a person.’
    • ‘His boot tip tapped at an impression left in soft red clay for my inspection.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Signatures or thumb impressions were obtained on consent forms and a copy left with the family.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The outcome was an abstract painting made up of stamps or impressions of a paint-covered ball.’
    • ‘The helmet is marked XL with an impression in the crushable foam.’
    • ‘The New Mexico tracks may be impressions made by the animal's forearms and two-digit ‘hands.’’
    • ‘The images show the differences between what was presented at trial and what a full fingerprint impression would have shown.’
    • ‘Each landed directly on Grand's body, making small impressions but otherwise leaving the creature be.’
    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.
      • ‘This action will create an impression of the top teeth in the rubber material.’
      • ‘After an initial consultation, your dentist creates an impression of your teeth and sends it to a lab where veneers are custom-made.’
      • ‘Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a kind of putty and send these to a laboratory where the splint is made.’
      • ‘Once the gum around the implant has healed, your dentist can take impressions to allow the crown, bridge or denture to be 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.’
  • 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 or other publication, especially one reprinted from existing type, plates, or film with no or only minor alteration.
      Compare with edition
      • ‘Of all the books' multiple impressions, two in particular stand out.’
      • ‘Reprints - Reprints are impressions made from the original block but after the first edition.’
      • ‘In some books he used three impressions: one for staves, another for notes and other musical signs, and the third for the text.’
      • ‘A second impression was issued nine months after the first and Dodgson began to plan a sequel.’
      print run, printing, imprinting, imprint, reprint, issue, edition, version, publication
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    2. 4.2 A print taken from an engraving.
      • ‘Hardly more than 2,000 impressions could be taken from a woodblock without a rather visible deterioration of quality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The impressions of many Yokohama prints are often fair to poor.’
      • ‘At least some of these more modern impressions may have been printed with sepia-colored ink instead of the black used in earlier examples.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Wood engraving allows to make finer lines than woodcuts and more impressions from the same block.’
      • ‘Each impression in a print edition was different - thereby erasing the idea that they should all be the same.’
      • ‘With each copy printed from a woodblock, the impression quality worsened due to the wear of the block.’
      • ‘Besides, because of the harder wood, more impressions were possible from one block.’
      • ‘A silk screen impression of a heroine from yesteryear sitting in a languid pose declaring her self-awareness is juxtaposed with the modern.’
      • ‘If furthermore the impression is lousy with broken lines from worn blocks, you can be sure that it is a late edition.’
      • ‘A mezzotint plate produced fewer impressions than a line engraving, but the engravers bewailed its invention, as being an easier and more facile process.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 5An instance of a pop-up or other online advertisement being seen on an Internet user's monitor.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To thank the customers, Microsoft is donating 201 million online ad impressions to charitable causes.’
    • ‘Lycos currently do not provide keyword, impression or click-through stats, although they do intend to offer them in the near future.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nobody buys full-run advertising on a site like that; major ad purchases are based on cost per thousand measured advertising impressions.’
    • ‘Together the two portals record over 12 million page impressions per month.’


  • 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’
      • ‘Others are under the impression that increasing the speed limit will somehow alleviate our traffic congestion problem.’
      • ‘You know, people are always under the impression that those who live in L.A. are weird.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was under the impression that there was going to be a dance performance by the Russian girls.’
      • ‘You are under the impression that this matters far more than it really does.’
      • ‘I was under the impression that all questions were vetted by you before they went on to the Order Paper.’
      • ‘Statements by Muhammad in court the following day made clear he was under the impression he was still represented by his Maryland attorneys.’
      • ‘I was also under the impression that there was something in the American constitution about freedom of speech.’
      • ‘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).