Impressive meaning

Meaning of impressive in English

On the whole, this is an impressive book replete with a number of valuable and intriguing arguments.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The coverage of city-states of different periods and regions in this book is impressive.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The detail is impressive and the panoramic views, many of which take up a whole page, are particularly revealing.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

While providing new information based upon impressive original research, the collection tends to flatter to deceive.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The next two chapters treat, respectively, microactuators and microsensors, and for both of these a very impressive range of methods has been tried.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

In fact, a theory that works for most people most of the time is still an impressive discovery.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The book is impressive in terms of its careful analysis and presentation of detailed primary research.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Such research would be particularly impressive if it also explained why previous studies have produced evidence consistent with the clarity argument.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The cause was morally compelling : a people fighting with impressive courage against colonial rule.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Perhaps the most impressive of all is the ability to smoothly interpolate between such contrasting experiences, bridging the gap between the internal and external world.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The fascination with the field ditches and the whole horizontal emphasis is very impressive.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Many believe that the old institutional economics is dead, buried under the impressive achievements of the new.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

See all examples of impressive

These examples are from corpora and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.

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[ im-pres-iv ]

/ ɪmˈprɛs ɪv /


having the ability to impress the mind; arousing admiration, awe, respect, etc.; moving; admirable: an impressive ceremony; an impressive appearance.



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Origin of impressive

First recorded in 1585–95; impress1 + -ive





impressionable, impressive

Words nearby impressive

impressible, impression, impressionable, impressionism, impressionist, impressive, impressive aphasia, impressment, impressure, imprest, imprest fund Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to impressive

thrilling, splendid, remarkable, profound, imposing, dramatic, notable, superb, extraordinary, monumental, important, massive, exciting, intense, absorbing, affecting, august, awe-inspiring, consequential, cool

How to use impressive in a sentence

  • I’m a fan of the company’s impressive head instructor and vice-president of fitness programming, Robin Arzon, who I interviewed in June.

    Peloton races to the future, but it’s still no tech company|Adam Lashinsky|September 11, 2020|Fortune

  • They are impressive animals, solitary hunters blessed with incredible power and athleticism.

    This Tiger Has Some Serious Ups|Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • The Walking Dead piled up an impressive body count in 2014, with Lizzie, Hershel, and Beth among its major casualties.

    The Red Viper, Zoe Barnes, and the Best Fictional Deaths of 2014|Melissa Leon|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • The ATSB has been impressive in the way it has taken over the direction of the search for Flight 370.

    Who Will Get AsiaAir 8501’s Black Boxes?|Clive Irving|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • When you think about all of that, the success of this Comeback run is all the more impressive.

    ‘The Comeback’ Finale: Give Lisa Kudrow All of the Awards|Kevin Fallon|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • He cast her as Hope, an ex-addict with an impressive pair of fake chompers—the result of years of drug abuse.

    Jena Malone’s Long, Strange Trip From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom|Marlow Stern|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Mrs. De Morgan has produced some impressive works in sculpture.

    Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement

  • As the impressive progress continued the revellers ceased their revels and followed in the wake of Aristide.

    The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol|William J. Locke

  • At once dignified, solemn, and impressive, it combined every element of grandeur.

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2)|Charles Dickens

  • The old gatekeepers of Putney Bridge were provided with impressive-looking gowns and wore something the appearance of beadles.

    The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries|Charles G. Harper

  • Such warnings as these were significant and impressive, and few dared utter a word in favor of the king.

    Madame Roland, Makers of History|John S. C. Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for impressive



capable of impressing, esp by size, magnificence, etc; awe-inspiring; commanding

Derived forms of impressive

impressively, adverbimpressiveness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


Meaning of impressive in English:


Pronunciation /ɪmˈprɛsɪv/

See synonyms for impressive

Translate impressive into Spanish


  • Evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill; grand, imposing, or awesome.

    ‘an impressive view of the mountains’

    • ‘impressive achievements in science’
    • ‘What makes her achievement all the more impressive is that she is something of a late starter.’
    • ‘It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.’
    • ‘His achievement is all the more impressive given the in limitations of the chosen media.’
    • ‘Just getting here with most of what you need is a pretty impressive accomplishment.’
    • ‘He had a pretty impressive record but rule changes forced him to give up when he was 19.’
    • ‘The prize is particularly impressive as the couple have only been on their own farm for one year.’
    • ‘Considering this is her first lead role in a feature film, she is very impressive.’
    • ‘As ever, one of the biggest pulls at the show was the impressive range of shire horses on display.’
    • ‘He has an impressive list of clients, many of whom have been cajoled into backing his cause.’
    • ‘It was the Scottish women who led the way yesterday with a clutch of impressive victories.’
    • ‘He said the terminal was all the more impressive as it was originally going to take a decade to build.’
    • ‘The most impressive aspect of this book is its insight into a strange and often troubled man.’
    • ‘The special effects and the look of the film are both very impressive and pretty true to the books.’
    • ‘He was such an impressive person and I was awestruck when I met him for the first time.’
    • ‘From the outside, however, the results look very impressive.’
    • ‘While these statistics may not seem impressive at first glance, they are in fact monumental.’
    • ‘Again, it was impressive to see the level of detail going into the production.’
    • ‘With such numbers, the company has an impressive showing for general workforce diversity.’
    • ‘He has an impressive CV and is credited with creating the UK's entire airborne radar capability.’
    • ‘Yet it is this bright and fresh view of London that make the paintings so impressive.’

    magnificent, majestic, imposing, splendid, spectacular, grand, august, awe-inspiring, stirring, stunning, breathtaking

    admirable, accomplished, expert, skilled, skilful, masterly, consummate

    View synonyms

Meaning impressive

Look up a word, learn it forever.

Something that is impressive stands out because it is really good. Some of the most impressive college application essays are those that reflect on past events that shaped who the writer is today.

When you impress someone, you show that you are special or that what you did is praiseworthy. So something that's impressive does just that, like the impressive feat of running a marathon every week for a year. The earliest meaning of impressive was "capable of being easily impressed," from the Latin word impressus, "imprint or stamp." By around 1775, the meaning had changed to "making a strong impression on."

Definitions of impressive

  1. adjective

    making a strong or vivid impression

    “an impressive ceremony”

    amazing, awe-inspiring, awesome, awful, awing

    inspiring awe or admiration or wonder

    arresting, sensational, stunning

    commanding attention

    astonishing, astounding, staggering, stupefying

    so surprisingly impressive as to stun or overwhelm

    baronial, imposing, noble, stately

    impressive in appearance

    dazzling, eye-popping, fulgurant, fulgurous

    amazingly impressive; suggestive of the flashing of lightning

    dramatic, spectacular, striking

    sensational in appearance or thrilling in effect

    expansive, grand, heroic

    of behavior that is impressive and ambitious in scale or scope


    extremely impressive in strength or excellence

    gallant, lofty, majestic, proud

    having or displaying great dignity or nobility

    brilliant, glorious, magnificent, splendid

    characterized by grandeur


    impressive because of unnecessary largeness or grandeur; used to show disapproval


    impressive in appearance


    intellectually or emotionally overwhelming


    suitable for or like a palace


    notably out of the ordinary


    extraordinarily big or impressive


    arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion

  2. adjective

    producing a strong effect

    “gave an impressive performance as Othello”

    effective, effectual, efficacious

    producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect



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