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See also: împinge



Borrowed from Latin impingō (dash against, impinge).



impinge (third-person singular simple present impinges, present participle impinging, simple past and past participle impinged)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To make a physical impact (on); to collide, to crash (upon).
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , vol.1, New York Review Books, 2001, p.287:
      The ordinary rocks upon which such men do impinge and precipitate themselves, are cards, dice, hawks, and hounds []
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To interfere with; to encroach (on, upon).
    • 2006 Summer, Keith R. Fisher, “Toward a Basal Tenth Amendment: A Riposte to National Bank Preemption of State Consumer Protection Laws”, in Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, volume 29, page 981-1034:
      It is astonishing that the meaning of a single declarative sentence enshrined in the Bill of Rights has evaded judicial construction establishing, at a minimum, some bedrock level of state sovereignty upon which the federal government can not impinge.
  3. (intransitive) To have an effect upon; to limit.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad:
      “I have tried, as I hinted, to enlist the co-operation of other capitalists, but experience has taught me that any appeal is futile that does not impinge directly upon cupidity. …”
    • 1982, Patrick O' Brien, “European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery”, in The Economic History Review, volume 107, number 2, page 445:
      Except for a restricted range of examples, growth, stagnation, and decay everywhere in Western Europe can be explained mainly by endogenous forces. The 'world economy', such as it was, hardly impinged [on Europe].

Usage notes[edit]

  • The transitive use is less common, not included in many small dictionaries, and not favored by Garner's Modern American Usage (2009).

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]





  1. third-person singular present indicative of impingere





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of impingō