from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Wedged together at the broken ends. Used of a fractured bone.
  • adjective Placed in the alveolus in a manner prohibiting eruption into a normal position. Used of a tooth.
  • adjective Wedged or packed in, so as to fill or block an organ or a passage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Driven together or close.
  • adjective (Dentistry) Grown in an abnormal direction so that it is wedged against another tooth and cannot erupt normally; -- of teeth, especially the third molar.
  • adjective (Surg.) a fracture in which the fragments are driven into each other so as to be immovable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of impact.

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

  • adjective wedged or packed in together


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A personal peeve: this word is an adjective meaning "wedged or packed in together" ... It calls to mind unpleasant business related to teeth and bowels ... For that reason, it shouldn't be used as a verb in statements like: "Voters in South Carolina will definitely be impacted by what happened at the Iowa caucuses Thursday." source

    My heart goes out to those soon-to-be-miserable South Carolinians.

    January 6, 2008

  • Hear! Hear! (note: not 'Here! Here!')

    January 6, 2008

  • The issue at hand is that the noun impact, as in "Have an impact" is being used as a verb, with impacted as the past tense. This is getting confused with impacted, the adjective, as in impacted bowel.

    January 6, 2008

  • Yes, thanks, I explain that to my students. I've usually got no problem with verbing a noun ... so, I explain to them, I'll assume that's what they're doing. But, I also explain, the unintended connotations of this particular one are especially disagreeable to, at least, their teacher.

    January 7, 2008