Meaning of “influence” in the English Dictionary

"influence" in British English

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influencenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈɪn.flu.əns/ us /ˈɪn.flu.əns/

B2 the power to have an effect on people or things, or a person or thing that is able to do this:

Helen's a bad/good influence on him.
He has a huge amount of influence over the city council.
Christopher hoped to exert his influence to make them change their minds.
At the time she was under the influence of her father.

More examples

  • My grandmother had a strong influence on my early childhood.
  • We live in an increasingly secular society, in which religion has less and less influence on our daily lives.
  • She fell under the influence of an older student.
  • His teacher described him as a noisy, disruptive influence in class.
  • The country's great influence in the world is disproportionate to its relatively small size.

influenceverb [ T ]

uk /ˈɪn.flu.əns/ us /ˈɪn.flu.əns/

B2 to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks:

She's very good at making friends and influencing people.
[ + obj + to infinitive ] What influenced you to choose a career in nursing?

More examples

  • Some people believe your biorhythms can influence your moods and behaviour.
  • She had her own style and was not influenced by the vagaries of fashion.
  • People's voting habits are influenced by political, social and economic factors.
  • What influenced you to choose a career in nursing?
  • The government's campaign is aimed at influencing public opinion.

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

"influence" in American English

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influenceverb [ T ]

us /ˈɪnˌflu·əns/ /ɪnˈflu-/

to cause someone to change a behavior, belief, or opinion, or to cause something to be changed:

Businesses make large contributions to members of Congress, hoping to influence their votes on key issues.
She was influenced by the common-sense views of her grandparents.
That speech influenced the course of American history.

influencenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈɪnˌflu·əns/ /ɪnˈflu-/

the power to have an effect on people or things, or someone or something having such power:

[ C ] The kid next door is a bad/good influence on Kevin.
[ U ] She used her influence to get her son a summer job.

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

"influence" in Business English

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influencenoun

uk /ˈɪnfluəns/ us

[ C or U ] the ability to have an effect on people or events:

exert/have/exercise (an) influence He is close enough to the President to exert influence.
(an) influence on sth Bloggers are expanding their influence on American politics.
(an) influence over sth Consumer groups act as champions and have critical influence over industry.
considerable/profound/growing influence He called on the industry to use its considerable influence to help resolve the situation.

[ C ] a person or thing that is able to have an effect on other people or on events:

International influences in the form of technology, systems and capital have historically been a feature of industrialization and economic growth.
be an influence on sb/sth She has been a big influence on me in my career.
considerable/great/major influence

See also

influenceverb [ T ]

uk /ˈɪnfluəns/ us

to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks:

Many analysts regard the state of the U.S. job market as a major factor influencing consumer confidence.
influence how/what/when An organization's values have been shown to influence how employees interact with each other.

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

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