Other forms: influences; influenced; influencing

Influence is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If someone influences someone else, they are changing a person or thing in an indirect but important way.

Sometimes a person who influences another doesn't intend to have any effect, but sometimes they are using influence to benefit themselves. An example of a personal benefit or advantage would be the use of political influence. Influence is also a verb, from Latin influere to flow in.

Definitions of influence
  1. noun
    a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc
    “used her parents' influence to get the job”
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    dead hand, dead hand of the past, mortmain
    the oppressive influence of past events or decisions
    a powerful effect or influence
    grasp, grip
    an intellectual hold or understanding
    something that acts like a tentacle in its ability to grasp and hold
    a force that compels
    compulsory force or threat
    an animating or vital unifying force
    an essential or life-giving force
    forces that provide energy and direction
    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
  2. noun
    causing something without any direct or apparent effort
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    stimulating influence among diverse elements
    the act of subjecting someone to an influencing experience
    encroachment, impact, impingement
    the act or state of having strong influence
    manipulation, use
    exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
    hypnotism, mesmerism, suggestion
    the act of inducing hypnosis
    enticement, temptation
    the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire
    the act of exposing someone excessively to an influencing experience
    inadequate publicity
    mind game
    deliberate actions of calculated psychological manipulation intended to intimidate or confuse (usually for competitive advantage)
    blandishment, wheedling
    the act of urging by means of teasing or flattery
    leading astray, leading off
    the act of enticing others into sinful ways
    enticing someone astray from right behavior
    allurement, solicitation
    the act of enticing a person to do something wrong (as an offer of sex in return for money)
    type of:
    causation, causing
    the act of causing something to happen
  3. noun
    one having power to influence another
    “she was the most important influence in my life”
    “he was a bad influence on the children”
    synonyms: influencer
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    type of:
    force, power
    one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority
  4. noun
    a cognitive factor that tends to have an effect on what you do
    “her wishes had a great influence on his thinking”
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    a factor whose effects cannot be accurately assessed
    a distinctive influence
    morale builder
    something or someone who influences by building or strengthening morale
    canker, pestilence
    a pernicious and malign influence that is hard to get rid of
    something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest
    enticement, temptation
    something that seduces or has the quality to seduce
    anchor, backbone, keystone, linchpin, lynchpin, mainstay
    a central cohesive source of support and stability
    support that enables people to survive or to continue doing something (often by providing an essential connection)
    forbidden fruit
    originally an apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden; it is now used to refer to anything that is tempting but dangerous (as sexuality)
    bait, come-on, hook, lure, sweetener
    anything that serves as an enticement
    leaven, leavening
    an influence that works subtly to lighten or modify something
    type of:
    causal factor, determinant, determinative, determiner, determining factor
    a determining or causal element or factor
  5. noun
    the effect of one thing (or person) on another
    “the influence of mechanical action”
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    (physics) a secondary influence on a system that causes it to deviate slightly
    a means of exerting influence or gaining advantage
    a tendency or force that influences events
    (astronomy) any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite (especially a perturbation of the earth's moon)
    type of:
    consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot
    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
  6. verb
    have and exert influence or effect
    “The artist's work influenced the young painter”
    synonyms: act upon, work
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    prejudice, prepossess
    influence (somebody's) opinion in advance
    form, imprint
    establish or impress firmly in the mind
    have force or influence; bring about an effect or change
    manipulate, pull strings, pull wires
    influence or control shrewdly or deviously
    color, colour
    modify or bias
    swing, swing over
    influence decisively
    blackjack, blackmail, pressure
    exert pressure on someone through threats
    carry, persuade, sway
    win approval or support for
    get at
    influence by corruption
    influence an event or its outcome by illegal means
    be in control
    bias, predetermine
    cause to be biased
    influence in an unfair way
    enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas
    type of:
    affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch, touch on
    have an effect upon
  7. verb
    shape or influence; give direction to
    synonyms: determine, mold, regulate, shape
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    dispose, incline
    make receptive or willing towards an action or attitude or belief
    disincline, indispose
    make unwilling
    shape or form or make badly
    carry weight
    have influence to a specified degree
    influence or determine
    shape anew or differently
    set the speed, duration, or execution of
    adjust through indexation
    regulate or set the pace of
    determine beforehand
    make susceptible
    foreordain, predestine, preordain
    foreordain or determine beforehand
    foreordain, predestinate, predestine
    foreordain by divine will or decree
    type of:
    cause, do, make
    give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  8. verb
    induce into action by using one's charm
    synonyms: charm, tempt
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    bewitch, magnetise, magnetize, mesmerise, mesmerize, spellbind
    attract strongly, as if with a magnet
    type of:
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘influence'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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