Impressive vs. Impressing: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 8, 2023
Impressive describes something that evokes admiration, while impressing is the act of causing such admiration.
An impressive object or person stands out due to inherent qualities or achievements, like an impressive painting, while impressing refers to the ongoing action or process, like a magician impressing the crowd.
The word impressive often conveys a passive state of being admired, like "The sculpture’s size was impressive," while impressing is active, illustrating the process of invoking admiration, as in "The chef is impressing diners with innovative dishes."
Impressive can be used to describe a lasting state of something that consistently evokes admiration, such as "His knowledge of history is impressive," whereas impressing implies a current, possibly transient act of making an impact, such as "He is impressing upon us the importance of diligence."
Impressive is an adjective that describes something awe-inspiring or notable, such as an impressive feat, whereas impressing is the present participle that describes the action of evoking admiration, as in someone is impressing the audience with their speech.
Use impressive when you wish to express the resulting feeling of admiration, such as in "The view from the mountain was impressive," and use impressing when discussing the action, "She is impressing judges with her performance."
Part of Speech
To describe qualities that evoke admiration
To describe the act of evoking admiration
“The grandeur of the palace is impressive.”
“The speaker is impressing the audience right now.”
State of being admired
Process of causing admiration
Impressive and Impressing Definitions
Evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill.
The athlete’s record is impressive.
Enforcing one’s ideas or presence strongly.
He is impressing his views on the committee.
Remarkable and striking in nature.
The vastness of the canyon is impressive.
The process of creating an imprint or mark.
The stamp is impressing a clear design on the paper.
Commanding attention because of great quality or performance.
Her command over the subject was impressive.
Actively evoking admiration or respect.
The musician is impressing the audience with her skill.
Deserving praise because of an excellent display.
The student’s improvement was impressive.
The ongoing action of compelling recognition of one’s abilities.
She is impressing her new colleagues with her expertise.
Distinguished by excellence.
The clarity of the presentation was impressive.
Making a significant impact or effect.
The teacher is impressing upon the students the importance of honesty.
Making a strong positive impression; inspiring admiration or awe
An impressive achievement.
To affect strongly, often favorably
Wrote down whatever impressed me during the journey.
Was impressed by the child's sincerity.
Making, or tending to make, a positive impression; having power to impress
An impressive speech
An impressive movie
To produce or attempt to produce a vivid impression or image of
A scene that impressed itself on her memory.
Parents that impress the value of money on their children.
Capable of being impressed.
To mark or stamp with pressure
Impressed the wax with a design.
To apply with pressure; press
Impressed the stamp onto the wax.
Making, or tending to make, an impression; having power to impress; adapted to excite attention and feeling, to touch the sensibilities, or affect the conscience; as, an impressive discourse; an impressive scene.
To compel (a person) to serve in the military, particularly in the naval forces, especially by seizure.
Capable of being impressed.
To seize (property) by force or authority, especially for military purposes; confiscate.
Making a strong or vivid impression;
An impressive ceremony
(Law) To impose a constructive trust or a lien upon property, as a matter of equity, to protect a person without legal title but with a legally recognized interest.
Producing a strong effect;
Gave an impressive performance as Othello
A telling gesture
The act of impressing
A design left by impress of a seal.
A mark or pattern of influence produced by someone or something; an impression
A politician who left her impress on foreign policy.
A stamp or seal meant to be impressed.
Present participle of impress
Repeatedly Asked Queries
What makes something impressive?
Qualities or achievements that evoke admiration make something impressive.
What types of things are often called impressive?
Grand architecture, significant achievements, or advanced skills.
Can a person be impressive?
Yes, through notable characteristics or accomplishments.
How do you know if something is impressive?
If it stands out remarkably and is worthy of praise.
Can animals be impressing?
Yes, if their actions or abilities evoke admiration.
Is impressing a continuous action?
Yes, it refers to the ongoing process of evoking admiration.
Is impressing always intentional?
Not always; it can occur without the active intent to influence.
What is the verb form of impressive?
Impress is the verb form, with impressing being its present participle.
Can an old artifact be impressive?
Absolutely, if it evokes admiration due to its history or craftsmanship.
Is impressive always positive?
Typically, it denotes a positive reaction, but it can be used in a neutral context.
Can food be impressive?
Certainly, if it’s exceptionally well-prepared or presented.
Can technology be impressive?
Yes, especially when it represents a significant advancement.
Can impressing be negative?
While usually positive, impressing can be negative if the influence is unwanted.
Can landscapes be impressive?
Yes, natural beauty often evokes admiration.
Do you need an audience to be impressing?
Typically, impressing involves an observer, but it can be a personal endeavor.
Is impressing about current actions only?
Yes, it's related to what is currently happening.
What's the difference in usage between impressive and impressing?
Impressive describes, while impressing implies active influence.
Does impressive or impressing have a stronger impact?
Impressive often denotes a lasting impact, while impressing is more about immediate effect.
Can a speech be impressive?
Yes, if it’s particularly well-delivered or insightful.
Can someone be trying to impress without success?
Yes, impressing involves the attempt, not necessarily the outcome.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.