Meaning of IMPRESSION in English


ə̇mˈpreshən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English impressioun, from Middle French impression, from Latin impression-, impressio, from impressus (past part of imprimere to impress) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at impress

1. : the act or process of impressing: as


(1) : an affecting by stamping, bearing upon, pressing, pressing into, or otherwise exerting a physical force that marks, grooves, embosses, or prints in some way

the worker held the metal firm during the impression by the die

a firm impression of the seal on the wax

(2) archaic : the printing process

b. : a communicating or giving of a mold, style, trait, or character by an external force or influence

a parent concerned with the impression of good traits on the mind and personality of his children

2. : the effect or product of an impression: as


(1) : an indentation, stamp, embossment, form, or figure resulting from physical contact usually with pressure

the strokes became wedge-shaped impressions which gave cuneiform its name — Peter Lawrence

a banking system whose principal features would be a circulation of notes bearing a common impression — Encyc. Americana

a well-printed book has a sharp, clean impression — Joseph Blumenthal

(2) obsolete : a telling mark or trace

(3) : a negative imprint in plastic material of the surfaces of the teeth and adjacent portions of the jaw from which a positive likeness may be produced in dentistry

(4) : meter impression

b. : an especially marked influence or effect on feeling, sense, or mind

the bad dream made a terrible impression on the child

the impression of the ocean was vivid in his mind

made a favorable impression on the audience

the more emotion the reading arouses, the deeper the impression on the learner — W.F.Mackey

square chimneys thrusting upward add to the impression of weight — American Guide Series: Arkansas


(1) : a characteristic trait or feature resulting from influence

the impression produced by an environment on a person's habits

(2) : an effect of alteration or improvement

the fur traders … made little permanent impression on the wilderness — R.A.Billington

a candle or lamp struggled feebly from a window but made no impression on the darkness — S.H.Holbrook

d. : a telling image impressed on the senses or the mind

looking over the steep hills, the first impression is of an immense void like the sea — Richard Jefferies

drank in all the new impressions eagerly — Havelock Ellis

3. : a piece of wax, metal, or other substance on which a seal has been impressed

4. archaic

a. : charge , attack

b. : strong effect : impact , shock

5. obsolete : an atmospheric condition or phenomenon


a. : the amount of pressure with which an inked printing surface deposits its ink on the paper in the printing process

each form should be made ready with as light an impression as practicable — John Southward

b. : one instance of the meeting of a printing surface and the material being printed

plates badly worn after a million impressions

also : a single print or copy so made

c. : all the copies of a book or other publication printed in one continuous operation from a single makeready

first published in 1939 and now available in a third impression — Times Literary Supplement

— called also printing ; compare edition

7. : a usually indistinct or imprecise notion, remembrance, belief, or opinion

an impression of familiarity with a face

the mistaken impression that they were out of enemy territory

cold, and mysterious, and ghostly — that is my first and lasting impression of Mycenae — Mary Chubb


a. : the first coat of color in painting

b. : a coat of paint for ornament or preservation

9. : an imitation or representation of salient features in an artistic or theatrical medium (as a ballet, painting, or theatrical monologue)

the novel was an impression of the battle from the point of view of the common soldier

especially : an imitation in caricature of a noted personality as a form of theatrical entertainment

the comedian gave several impressions of famous movie and television stars

Synonyms: see idea

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.