Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To collide or strike: Sound waves impinge on the eardrum.
  • intransitive v. To encroach; trespass: Do not impinge on my privacy.
  • transitive v. To encroach upon: "One of a democratic government's continuing challenges is finding a way to protect . . . secrets without impinging the liberties that democracy exists to protect” ( Christian Science Monitor).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make a physical impact (on); to collide, to crash (upon).
  • v. To interfere with; to encroach (on, upon).
  • v. To have an effect upon; to limit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To fall or dash against; to touch upon; to strike; to hit; to clash with; -- with on or upon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To come in collision; collide; strike or dash: followed by on, upon, or against.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. advance beyond the usual limit
  • v. impinge or infringe upon

Etymologies

Latin impingere : in-, against; see in-2 + pangere, to fasten; see pag- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin impingō ("dash against, impinge"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Macklin argued that bioethics has done just fine with the principle of personal autonomy--the idea that, because all humans have the same minimum capacity to suffer, prosper, reason, and choose, no human has the right to impinge on the life, body, or freedom of another."
    - Steven Pinker, The Stupidity of Dignity, tnr.com, 28 May 2008.

    September 29, 2009