Meaning of “impact” in the English Dictionary

"impact" in English

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impactnoun [ C usually singular, U ]

uk /ˈɪm.pækt/ us /ˈɪm.pækt/

C2 the force or action of one object hitting another:

The impact of the crash reduced the car to a third of its original length.
The bullet explodes on impact (= when it hits another object).

B2 a powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on a situation or person:

The anti-smoking campaign had had/made quite an impact on young people.
The new proposals were intended to soften the impact of the reformed tax system.

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impactverb [ I or T ]

uk /ɪmˈpækt/ us /ɪmˈpækt/ mainly US

(Definition of “impact” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"impact" in American English

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impactnoun [ U ]

us /ˈɪm·pækt/

impact noun [ U ] (FORCE)

the force with which one thing hits another or with which two things hit each other:

The impact of the crash destroyed the car.
The bullet explodes on impact (= at the moment when it hits something).

impact noun [ U ] (EFFECT)

the strong effect or influence that something has on a situation or person:

These charges will have a damaging impact on the army’s reputation.
The environmental impact of this project will be enormous.


us /ɪmˈpækt/

impact (HAVE EFFECT)

to have a strong effect or influence on a situation or person:

[ I/T ] A big decline in exports will impact (on) the country’s economy.

(Definition of “impact” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"impact" in Business English

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impactnoun [ C, usually singular, or U ]

uk /ˈɪmpækt/ us

a powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on someone or something:

a big/huge impact Social networks are making a huge impact on sales, with fans recommending brands to hundreds of their friends.
We judge that these developments will have little impact on our business.
have an impact on/upon sb/sth Microenterprises can have a negative or positive impact on the environment.

impactverb [ I or T ]

uk /ɪmˈpækt/ us

to have an influence on something:

Local businesses were heavily impacted by the new zoning regulations.
impact on sth Engineers say the new engine could impact on the way future cars are designed.

(Definition of “impact” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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We must not fear globalisation, but we must also make sure that we understand its political impact in the network society.
The environmental impact study for this agreement, which we paid for, does not include an assessment of the impact that liberalisation will have on tar sands.
Under the new health strategy we will reduce the number of projects and increase their value and impact, thereby using our limited human resources more effectively.
Why else would it describe, and call for, support measures, with a view to alleviating the negative impact of free trade?
At the same time, it raises practical and political problems, namely the obstacles of air transport policies and their adverse environmental impact.
Unregulated aid would therefore engender distortions of competition, which could have an adverse impact primarily on certain forms of renewable energy.
The impact of the proposal is limited.
Secondly, the scope of the directive must, in any event, be sufficiently broad and systematically include those plans which have a significant impact on the environment.
The airports were built haphazardly and no practical assessment of the environmental impact was made as the towns, or certain parts of them, grew up around the airport structures.
I think that close attention must also be paid to the impact of the drilling issue and oil surveys on the negotiations.

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