Definition of impinge in English:


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intransitive verbintransitive verb impinges, intransitive verb impinging, intransitive verb impinged

[no object]
  • 1Have an effect or impact, especially a negative one.

    ‘Nora was determined that the tragedy would impinge as little as possible on Constance's life’
    • ‘More than 1800 people - a pretty large focus group - were asked about the environmental factors that impinge most negatively upon their daily lives.’
    • ‘One of the sacred precepts of modern educational theory is that you must never impinge negatively on the pupil's self-esteem.’
    • ‘Those who oppose these laws argue that the legislation impinges far too much on civil liberties and strikes at the heart of some of the basic tenants of our democracy and judicial system.’
    • ‘I can't speak for other Londoners, but May Day Riots are rapidly joining the London Marathon as events that I never witness as such, yet whose aftermath always somehow impinges, usually when I'm off in search of debauch.’
    • ‘Reading and sifting allows me to see myself as an agent in the literary culture - which I have to believe impinges at least somewhat on our common lives.’
    • ‘The oozy goo of reproduction and decay impinges darkly on the tidy geometrical regularity of a bogus suburban milieu.’
    • ‘But the principal cost of their success impinges directly on the players.’
    • ‘How much more time will be wasted and how much more blood will flow before this reality impinges?’
    • ‘But in all cases they refer to behaviour that has impinged adversely on others, usually those closest to me.’
    • ‘She is enjoying the fame, and the increase in attention hasn't impinged too badly on her time.’
    • ‘Those sorts of imponderables do occasionally impinge, but not often.’
    • ‘I found a place where politics still ranks low in the order of things, where life has more immediate things to concern it, and where the affairs of the far-off capital seem scarcely to impinge.’
    • ‘Suddenly the reality of war started to impinge.’
    • ‘Over time, we will better incorporate the new economic-theory developments as the practices they describe impinge.’
    • ‘The President has Constitutional powers upon which Congress cannot impinge.’
    • ‘It was at about this time that the name of Stephen Hawking first impinged on popular awareness.’
    • ‘So quantum physics actually does impinge on our everyday lives, even if we do not need to be a quantum mechanic to make a TV set or a hi-fi system work.’
    • ‘Lindsay, it's an interesting question and one that impinged on my senior year project as a matter of fact.’
    • ‘The new problem, the verroa mite, has not yet impinged in this area and we are all apprehensive as to what the effect will be.’
    • ‘He decided to pair his traps with his triceps training, as the latter would not infringe upon, or impinge, his sensitive neck.’
    affect, have an effect on, have a bearing on, touch, influence, exert influence on, make an impression on, make an impact on, leave a mark on
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    1. 1.1Advance over an area belonging to someone or something else; encroach.
      ‘the site impinges on a greenbelt area’
      • ‘He wrote: ‘Whilst it does not appear to impinge too much on the Micklegate area, we do have an abundance of clubs and pubs in the area, which sometimes does have a detrimental effect on Micklegate.’’
      encroach on, intrude on, infringe, invade, trespass on, obtrude into, make inroads into, cut through, interfere with
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    2. 1.2impinge on/uponPhysics Strike.
      ‘the gases impinge on the surface of the liquid’
      • ‘When using the laser beam for welding the electromagnetic radiation impinges on the surface of the base metal with such a concentration of energy that the temperature of the surface is melted and volatilized.’
      • ‘Waves of any sort set up sympathetic vibrations in the materials they impinge upon, which is the principle behind many many things, including telephones and radar.’
      • ‘Electrons from the source impinge upon an x-ray anode, causing the emission of x-ray radiation toward the window.’
      • ‘Although the Sun's rays that reach the Earth are essentially parallel, the light impinges on a spherical droplet at a wide range of angles to the surface, where it undergoes refraction.’
      • ‘In Manchester in 1911, Ernest Rutherford and some younger co-workers began to study how some small, positively charged projectiles called particles behaved when they impinged on a thin gold film.’
      strike, hit, dash against, collide with
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/imˈpinj/ /ɪmˈpɪndʒ/


Mid 16th century from Latin impingere ‘drive something in or at’, from in- ‘into’ + pangere ‘fix, drive’. The word originally meant ‘thrust at forcibly’, then ‘come into forcible contact’; hence ‘encroach’ (mid 18th century).