Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Influence

In′flu-ence

(ĭn′flū̍-ens)
,
Noun.
[F.
influence
, fr. L.
influens
,
-entis
, p. pr. See
Influent
, and cf.
Influenza
.]
1.
A flowing in or upon; influx.
[Obs.]
God hath his
influence
into the very essence of all things.
Hooker.
2.
Hence, in general, the bringing about of an effect, physical or moral, by a gradual process; controlling power quietly exerted; agency, force, or tendency of any kind which affects, modifies, or sways;
as, the
influence
which the sun exerts on animal and vegetable life; the
influence
of education on the mind; the
influence
, according to astrologers, of the stars over affairs
.
Astrologers call the evil
influences
of the stars, evil aspects.
Bacon.
Canst thou bind the sweet
influences
of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Job xxxviii. 31.
She said : “Ah, dearest lord! what evil star
On you hath frown’d, and poured, his
influence
bad?”
Spenser.
3.
Power or authority arising from elevated station, excelence of character or intellect, wealth, etc.; reputation; acknowledged ascendency;
as, he is a man of
influence
in the community
.
Such
influence
hath your excellency.
Sir P. Sidney.
Syn. – Control; persuasion; ascendency; sway; power; authority; supremacy; mastery; management; restraint; character; reputation; prestige.

In′flu-ence

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Influenced
(ĭn′flū̍-enst)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Influencing
(ĭn′flū̍-en-sĭng)
.]
To control or move by power, physical or moral; to affect by gentle action; to exert an influence upon; to modify, bias, or sway; to affect; to move; to persuade; to induce.
These experiments succeed after the same manner in vacuo as in the open air, and therefore are not
influenced
by the weight or pressure of the atmosphere.
Sir I. Newton.
This standing revelation . . . is sufficient to
influence
their faith and practice, if they attend.
Attebury.
The principle which
influenced
their obedience has lost its efficacy.
Rogers.

Webster 1828 Edition


Influence

IN'FLUENCE

,
Noun.
[L. influens, influo, to flow in; in and fluo, to flow.] Literally, a flowing in, into or on, and referring to substances spiritual or too subtil to be visible, like inspiration. Hence the word was formerly followed by into.
God hath his influence into the very essence of all things.
It is not followed by on or with.
1.
In a general sense, influence denotes power whose operation is invisible and known only by its effects, or a power whose cause and operation are unseen.
2.
The power which celestial bodies are supposed to exert on terrestrial; as the influence of the planets on the birth and fortunes of men; an exploded doctrine of astrology.
3.
Moral power; power of truth operating on the mind, rational faculties or will, in persuading or dissuading, as the influence of motives, of arguments,or of prayer. We say, arguments had no influence on the jury. The magistrate is not popular; he has no influence with the people; or he has great influence with the prince.
4.
Physical power; power that affects natural bodies by unseen operation; as, the rays of the sun have an influence in whitening cloth, and in giving a green color to vegetables.
5.
Power acting on sensibility; as the influence of love or pity in sympathy.
6.
Spiritual power, or the immediate power of God on the mind; as divine influence; the influences of the Holy Spirit.

IN'FLUENCE

,
Verb.
T.
To move by physical power operating by unseen laws or force; to affect.
These experiments succeed after the same manner in vacuo, as in the open air, and therefore are not influenced by the weight or pressure of the atmosphere.
1.
To move by moral power; to act on and affect, as the mind or will, in persuading or dissuading; to induce. Men are influenced by motives of interest or pleasure. An orator may influence the people to take arms, or to abandon an enterprise.
2.
To move, as the passions, as, to influence one by pity.
3.
To lead or direct. This revelation is sufficient to influence our faith and practice.

Definition 2022


influence

influence

See also: influencé

English

Noun

influence (countable and uncountable, plural influences)

  1. The power to affect, control or manipulate something or someone; the ability to change the development of fluctuating things such as conduct, thoughts or decisions.
    • 2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
      The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.
    I have absolutely no influence over him.
  2. An action exerted by a person or thing with such power on another to cause change.
    I'm not able to exercise influence over him.
  3. A person or thing exerting such power or action.
    He has been a great influence on the voters during the elections.
  4. (astrology) An element believed to determine someone's character or individual tendencies, caused by the position of the stars and planets at the time of one's birth.
  5. (obsolete) The action of flowing in; influx.
    • Hooker
      God hath his influence into the very essence of all things.
  6. (electricity) Electrostatic induction.

Usage notes

  • Adjectives often applied to "influence": cultural, political, social, economic, military, personal, moral, intellectual, mental, good, bad, positive, negative, beneficial, harmful, huge, big, heavy, significant, important, potential, actual, primary.

Hyponyms

  • social influence

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Verb

influence (third-person singular simple present influences, present participle influencing, simple past and past participle influenced)

  1. (transitive) To affect by gentle action; to exert an influence upon; to modify, bias, or sway; to persuade or induce.
    The politician wants to influence the public.
    I must admit that this book influenced my outlook on life.
  2. (intransitive) To exert, make use of one's influence.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To cause to flow in or into; infuse; instill.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: lips · donations · George · #666: influence · March · whatever · reach

French

Etymology

From Old French, borrowed from Medieval Latin īnfluentia, from Latin īnfluēns (flowing in), present active participle of īnfluō (flow into), from in- (in-) + fluō (flow).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃.fly.ɑ̃s/

Noun

influence f (plural influences)

  1. influence

Related terms

Verb

influence

  1. first-person singular present indicative of influencer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of influencer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of influencer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of influencer
  5. second-person singular imperative of influencer

Old French

Etymology

Borrowed from Medieval Latin īnfluentia, from Latin īnfluēns (flowing in), present active participle of īnfluō (flow into).

Noun

influence f (oblique plural influences, nominative singular influence, nominative plural influences)

  1. inundation; flooding; influx of water
  2. influence, especially viewed as a mystical force affecting one's fate
    • Par l'influance des estoiles
      By the influence of the stars

Descendants

References

  • (fr) Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (influence, supplement)