A golf club about to impact the ball.
An example of impact is the effect that humans are having on the environment.
- to force tightly together; pack; wedge
- to affect: a usage still objected to by some
Origin of impact; from Classical Latin impactus, past participle of impingere, to press firmly together: see impinge
- to hit with force
- to have an effect: usually with on: a usage still objected to by some
- a striking together; violent contact; collision
- the force of a collision; shock
- the power of an event, idea, etc. to produce changes, move the feelings, etc.
- a. The striking of one body against another; collision. See Synonyms at collision.b. The force transmitted by a collision.
- The effect or impression of one person or thing on another: still gauging the impact of automation on the lives of factory workers.
verbim·pact·ed, im·pact·ing, im·pacts
- To pack firmly together.
- To strike forcefully: meteorites impacting the lunar surface.
- Usage Problem To have an effect or impact on: “No region &ellipsis; has been more impacted by emerging &ellipsis; economic trends” (Joel Kotkin).
verb, intransitive Usage Problem
Origin of impactFrom Latin impactus, past participle of impingere, to push against; see impinge.
- The striking of one body against another; collision.
- The force or energy of a collision of two objects.
- The hatchet cut the wood on impact.
- (chiefly medicine) A forced impinging.
- His spine had an impingement; L4 and L5 made impact, which caused numbness in his leg.
- A significant or strong influence; an effect.
- His friend's opinion had an impact on his decision.
- Our choice of concrete will have a tremendous impact on the building's mechanical performance.
- Adjectives often applied to "impact": social, political, physical, positive, negative, good, bad, beneficial, harmful, significant, great, important, strong, big, small, real, huge, likely, actual, potential, devastating, disastrous, true, primary.
- The adposition generally used with "impact" is "on" (such as in last example in section above)
- There are English speakers who are so averse to the verb sense that they have become hypersensitive to the use of the figurative noun sense, with a low threshold for labeling such use as overuse (cliché). In defensive editing, the solution is to replace the noun sense with effect and the verb sense with affect, which nearly always produces an acceptable result.
(third-person singular simple present impacts, present participle impacting, simple past and past participle impacted)
- To compress; to compact; to press or pack together.
- If fecal incontinence is caused by impacted stool in the rectum, the impaction must be removed.
- (proscribed) To influence; to affect; to have an impact on.
- I can make the changes, but it will impact the schedule.
- To collide or strike.
- When the hammer impacts the nail, it bends.
Some authorities object to the verb sense of impact, meaning "to influence; to affect; to have an impact on" or "to collide or strike". Although most verbification instances in English draw no prescriptive attention, a few do, including this one. To avoid annoying those readers who care, one can replace the verb sense with affect, which nearly always produces an acceptable result. See also the usage note for the noun sense.
From Latin impāctus, perfect passive participle of impingō (“dash against, impinge”).