from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Wedged together at the broken ends. Used of a fractured bone.
  • adj. Placed in the alveolus in a manner prohibiting eruption into a normal position. Used of a tooth.
  • adj. Wedged or packed in, so as to fill or block an organ or a passage: impacted feces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of impact.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Driven together or close.
  • adj. Grown in an abnormal direction so that it is wedged against another tooth and cannot erupt normally; -- of teeth, especially the third molar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. wedged or packed in together


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Yes, thanks, I explain that to my students. I've usually got no problem with verbing a noun ... so, I explain to them, I'll assume that's what they're doing. But, I also explain, the unintended connotations of this particular one are especially disagreeable to, at least, their teacher.

    January 7, 2008

  • The issue at hand is that the noun impact, as in "Have an impact" is being used as a verb, with impacted as the past tense. This is getting confused with impacted, the adjective, as in impacted bowel.

    January 6, 2008

  • Hear! Hear! (note: not 'Here! Here!')

    January 6, 2008

  • A personal peeve: this word is an adjective meaning "wedged or packed in together" ... It calls to mind unpleasant business related to teeth and bowels ... For that reason, it shouldn't be used as a verb in statements like: "Voters in South Carolina will definitely be impacted by what happened at the Iowa caucuses Thursday." source

    My heart goes out to those soon-to-be-miserable South Carolinians.

    January 6, 2008