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From impact +‎ -ful.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɪmpæktfəl/, /ɪmˈpæktfəl/



impactful (comparative more impactful, superlative most impactful)

  1. Having impact. [from c. 1940]
    • 1950, Movies: A Psychological Study[1], Digitized edition, Free Press, published 2008, page 22:
      We might suppose that some of the most impactful heroines of current films would combine these two functions: that of the good-bad girl ...
    • 1969, W. James Popham, “Curriculum Materials”, in Review of Educational Research, volume 39, number 3, page 321:
      It is strongly recommended that in the future such investigations not be reported in the literature unless they are designed to test the effects of some hopefully impactful treatment variation.
    • 1982, S. E. Taylor, S. C. Thompson, “Stalking the Elusive 'Vividness' Effect”, in Psychological Bulletin, volume 89, number 2, page 155:
      Everyone knows that vividly presented information is impactful and persuasive.
    • 2001, A. Mukherjee, W. D. Hoyer, “The Effect of Novel Attributes on Product Evaluation”, in The Journal of Consumer Research, volume 28, number 3, page 463:
      A dominant finding in psychology and consumer behavior has been that negative information is more impactful than positive information.
    • 2013 March 22, “Pals organise night out to remember Florence”, in West Sussex Gazette:
      “The evening will help to raise money to create a place where children can have fun and enjoy playing for years to come; a fitting legacy of a short-lived but impactful life."

Usage notes

  • Proscribed by some authorities, who recommend influential or effective instead.[1] Alternatively, one may rephrase to have an impact or have a strong impact. However, many usages can be found, particularly in business and education[1] as well as in journalism and academic writing.
  • Usage is more common in the US.





Derived terms





  1. 1.0 1.1 Paul Brians (2009) “impactful”, in Common Errors in English Usage, 2nd edition, Wilsonville, Or.: William, James & Company, →ISBN.