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

  • noun An effect, feeling, or image retained as a consequence of experience.
  • noun A vague notion, remembrance, or belief.
  • noun A mark produced on a surface by pressure.
  • noun The act or process of impressing.
  • noun All the copies of a publication printed at one time from the same set of type.
  • noun A single copy of such a printing.
  • noun A humorous imitation of the voice and mannerisms of a famous person.
  • noun An initial or single coat of color or paint.
  • noun Dentistry An imprint of the teeth and surrounding tissues, formed with a plastic material that hardens into a mold for use in making dentures, inlays, or plastic models.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of impressing, imprinting, or stamping, or the state of being impressed or stamped.
  • noun That which is impressed, imprinted, or stamped; a mark made by or as if by pressure; a stamp; an impress.
  • noun Specifically In printing, a copy taken by pressure from type, or from an engraved or stereotyped plate or block, or from an assemblage of them.
  • noun The aggregate of copies of a printed work made at one time.
  • noun Animage; an appearance in the mind caused by something external to it.
  • noun The first and immediate effect upon the mind in outward or inward perception; sensation: as, the impressions made on the sense of touch.
  • noun Effect, especially strong effect, produced on the intellect, conscience, or feelings; the sensible result of an influence exerted from without.
  • noun A notion, remembrance, or belief, especially one that is somewhat indistinct or vague.
  • noun That which is impressed; a thing producing a mental image.
  • noun Impressing force or power.
  • noun In painting: The first coat, or ground color, laid on to receive the other colors.
  • noun A single coat or stratum of color laid upon a wall or wainscot of an apartment for ornament, or upon timber to preserve it from moisture, or upon metals to keep them from rusting.
  • noun In zoology, an impressed or sunken dot, short line, or small space on a surface.
  • noun Any method of psychological analysis which involves the presentation of stimuli to the observer and the recording of his introspective judgments.
  • noun More particularly, a method for the study of the affective processes, consisting in the presentation to the observer of a large number of stimuli, serially or in pairs, and in the recording of the affective judgments, absolute or relative, passed upon these presented stimuli: opposed, in this sense, to the method of expression.

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

  • noun The act of impressing, or the state of being impressed; the communication of a stamp, mold, style, or character, by external force or by influence.
  • noun That which is impressed; stamp; mark; indentation; sensible result of an influence exerted from without.
  • noun obsolete That which impresses, or exercises an effect, action, or agency; appearance; phenomenon.
  • noun Influence or effect on the senses or the intellect hence, interest, concern.
  • noun An indistinct notion, remembrance, or belief.
  • noun Impressiveness; emphasis of delivery.
  • noun (Print.) The pressure of the type on the paper, or the result of such pressure, as regards its appearance; ; also, a single copy as the result of printing, or the whole edition printed at a given time.
  • noun rare In painting, the first coat of color, as the priming in house painting and the like.
  • noun (Engraving) A print on paper from a wood block, metal plate, or the like.
  • noun one of the early impressions taken from an engraving, before the plate or block is worn.

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

  • noun The indentation or depression made by the pressure of one object on or into another.
  • noun The overall effect of something, e.g., on a person.
  • noun A vague recalling of an event, a belief
  • noun An impersonation, an imitation of the mannerisms of another individual
  • noun An outward appearance
  • noun advertising An online advertising performance metric representing an instance where an ad is shown once

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

  • noun all the copies of a work printed at one time
  • noun a vague idea in which some confidence is placed
  • noun a clear and telling mental image
  • noun an impressionistic portrayal of a person
  • noun a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving
  • noun a concavity in a surface produced by pressing
  • noun an outward appearance
  • noun the act of pressing one thing on or into the surface of another
  • noun (dentistry) an imprint of the teeth and gums in wax or plaster


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French impression, from Latin impressio.


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  • And Sextus reports that Arcesilaus also objected to Zeno's conception of belief as assent to an impression, on the ground that assent is a matter of reason or thinking, rather than the acceptance of a non-rational ˜impression™ (M. 7.154).

    Arcesilaus Brittain, Charles 2005

  • I think an occasional rest-day is as necessary to the tired brain as the photographer's dark room is to the development of the negative impression -- without it the brain would, indeed, record a "_negative impression_."

    The Idler Magazine, Volume III, March 1893 An Illustrated Monthly Various

  • – My main impression is that this story could work as an introspective drama (maybe something like a coming-of-age story), but it does not feel like it has much comedic potential.

    Superhero Nation: how to write superhero novels and comic books » Avi’s Second Review Forum 2009

  • By the term impression, then, I mean all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will.

    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 2004

  • By the term impression, then, I mean all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will.

    Of the Origin of Ideas 1909

  • "So I think generally the impression is a better connection and a more sort of real vibrance going on."

    Following Film And TV, Music Takes Stab At 3D AP 2010

  • I read the article and your impression is the one I got, too.

    Matthew Yglesias » Quantifying Shane Battier 2009

  • Mr. Lofft's last says, 'Mr Dingle [3] has sold a hundred of the Tales, and sent for another hundred in doubt whether he shall get them before the impression is all sold off' — I am not sure that they sell so fast as that, but they sell quite fast enough.

    Letter 77 2009

  • I am no fan of true believers or NRA fanatics in general ... my impression is they are far too simple to forge their own path … Lets take a candid look "BushyWacky" I really enjoyed your weak minded justifications for an out dated 2a and US LAW.

    Latest News Media Claim: U.S. 2007

  • All that is in the man in the larger sense, what we call impression as well as what we call intuition, so far as my argument looks, we must accept.

    Lay Morals 2005

  • “What printers were after”, says Bob Richardson, a former BBC graphic designer who works at the Type Archive, “was a ‘kiss impression’, where the type touches the paper lightly enough just to ink it.

    How the world’s old printing presses are being brought back to life The Economist 2019


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  • In publishing, 1) all the copies of a book printed at the same time, in a single printing, from the same type. 2) The act of printing itself, or the quality of it, especially of plates--as in "good, sharp impressions."

    February 25, 2008