An impression is an imprint, either in one’s mind or on an object. To make a good impression on your friend's parents, don't let your muddy boots leave impressions on their perfect white kitchen floor.

The noun impression comes from the Latin word imprimere, which means “press into or upon,” or “stamp.” When you press a coin into a piece of modeling clay there will be an impression, or likeness, of its design in the clay. Another kind of impression is a performance in which you act, talk, move and even attempt to look like another person, like the impression of your teacher that got you into trouble when he saw you.

Primary Meanings of impression

a vague idea in which some confidence is placed
the act of pressing one thing on or into the surface of another
Full Definitions of impression

n a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

“his impression of her was favorable”
belief, feeling, notion, opinion
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the impression that something is present
an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived)
first blush
at the first glimpse or impression
hunch, intuition, suspicion
an impression that something might be the case
sound effect
an effect that imitates a sound called for in the script of a play
special effect
an effect used to produce scenes that cannot be achieved by normal techniques (especially on film)
bosom, heart
the locus of feelings and intuitions
Type of:
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

n a clear and telling mental image

“the events left a permanent impression in his mind”
mental picture, picture
Type of:
image, mental image
an iconic mental representation

n an outward appearance

“he made a good impression
“I wanted to create an impression of success”
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the impression produced by a person
the general impression that something (a person or organization or product) presents to the public
the impression created by doing something unusual or extraordinary that people notice and remember
tout ensemble
a total impression or effect of something made up of individual parts
Type of:
appearance, visual aspect
outward or visible aspect of a person or thing

n an impressionistic portrayal of a person

“he did a funny impression of a politician”
Type of:
characterisation, characterization, enactment, personation, portrayal
acting the part of a character on stage; dramatically representing the character by speech and action and gesture

n the act of pressing one thing on or into the surface of another

“he watched the impression of the seal on the hot wax”
Type of:
press, pressing, pressure
the act of pressing; the exertion of pressure

n a concavity in a surface produced by pressing

“he left the impression of his fingers in the soft mud”
depression, imprint
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a small natural hollow in the cheek or chin
channel, groove
a long narrow furrow cut either by a natural process (such as erosion) or by a tool (as e.g. a groove in a phonograph record)
any slight depression in a surface
a depression in an otherwise level surface
dent, incision, prick, scratch, slit
a depression scratched or carved into a surface
droop, sag
a shape that sags
crease, crinkle, furrow, line, seam, wrinkle
a slight depression in the smoothness of a surface
chap, crack, cranny, crevice, fissure
a long narrow depression in a surface
a rectangular groove cut into a board so that another piece can fit into it
flute, fluting
a groove or furrow in cloth etc (particularly a shallow concave groove on the shaft of a column)
a narrow groove beside a beading
rabbet, rebate
a rectangular groove made to hold two pieces together
a groove on a phonograph recording
a groove or furrow (especially one in soft earth caused by wheels)
score, scotch
a slight surface cut (especially a notch that is made to keep a tally)
crow's feet, crow's foot, laugh line
a wrinkle in the skin at the outer corner of your eyes
the lines that form patterns on the skin (especially on the fingertips and the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet)
frown line
a facial wrinkle associated with frowning
life line, lifeline, line of life
a crease on the palm; its length is said by palmists to indicate how long you will live
heart line, line of heart, love line, mensal line
a crease on the palm; palmists say it indicates your emotional nature
line of Saturn, line of destiny, line of fate
a crease on the palm; palmists say it indicates how successful you will be
stria, striation
any of a number of tiny parallel grooves such as: the scratches left by a glacier on rocks or the streaks or ridges in muscle tissue
the channel or break produced by erosion of relatively soft soil by water
Type of:
concave shape, concavity, incurvation, incurvature
a shape that curves or bends inward

n (dentistry) an imprint of the teeth and gums in wax or plaster

“the dentist took an impression for use in preparing an inlay”
Type of:
a device produced by pressure on a surface

n a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving

embossment, imprint
an impression produced by pressure or printing
a stamp affixed to a document (as to attest to its authenticity or to seal it)
Type of:
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

n all the copies of a work printed at one time

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the form in which a text (especially a printed book) is published
proof, test copy, trial impression
(printing) an impression made to check for errors
a printed impression that is blurred or doubled
limited edition
an edition that is restricted to a specific number of copies
variorum, variorum edition
an edition containing various versions of a text or notes by various scholars or editors
galley proof
a proof taken before the type is broken up to print pages
foundry proof
a proof taken from a form before duplicate plates are made
Type of:
a copy of a printed work offered for distribution

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