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first impression

The initial, introductory evaluation upon meeting a person, encountering something, or experiencing a situation for the first time. I had a bad first impression of the job when, on my very first day, the boss humiliated me in front of everyone in the office. I didn't have a great first impression of Steve, but we ended up becoming very close friends.
See also: first, impression

First impressions are the most lasting.

Prov. People will remember the way you appear when you first meet them, so it is important to look and act your best when you meet someone for the first time. George spent two hours picking just the right clothes to wear when he met the head of the law firm, since he knew that first impressions are the most lasting.
See also: first, impression, most

leave an impression (on someone)

 and leave someone with an impression
Fig. to provide a lasting memory for someone after one has left. (Akin to make an impression on someone.) Her performance was less than stunning. She didn't leave a very good impression on us.
See also: impression, leave

make an impression on someone

to produce a positive memorable effect on someone while one is present. (Akin to leave an impression (on someone).) Tom made quite an impression on the banker.
See also: impression, make

make an impression

Produce a strong effect on one. This phrase is often qualified with an adjective such as good, bad, strong, or the like. For example, He tried to make a good impression on his girlfriend's parents, or Be careful or you'll make a bad impression on the jury, or You made quite an impression with that speech. [Mid-1600s]
See also: impression, make

under the impression

Thinking, assuming, or believing something, as in I was under the impression that they were coming today. This idiom often suggests that the idea or belief one had is mistaken. [Mid-1800s]
See also: impression
References in classic literature ?
I attended two lecture courses under him, and I have known him for two years; that is why I am anxious for your first impression.
For the moment I could say nothing to her; the dreadful impression that I have tried to describe to you came back to me with the coming back of my life.
Do they give fine variations of appearance and impression, such as delicate shiftings of light and shade and delicate tones of color?
She only says that he puzzles her, and that she will not tell me what her impression of him is until I have seen him, and formed my own opinion first.
Delafield might applaud; that some sighed that he might hear, and others ogled that he might sigh: but not one made the impression that the quiet, speaking eye, and artless but peaceful nature of Charlotte produced on the youth.
It was true that her profile was beautiful; it was extraordinary how English girls of that class had so often a perfection of outline which took your breath away, but it was as cold as marble; and the faint green of her delicate skin gave an impression of unhealthiness.
He had since called in person upon her, making an extremely favourable impression, for the princess had received him each day since, and had introduced him into several good houses.
He took it for granted, in the lack of any impression to the contrary, that she was dressed some how.
The blotting-paper was the last thing left to dispose of: two neatly-folded sheets, quite clean, except in one place, where the impression of a few lines of writing appeared.
The first impression produced by her face was an impression of bones.
Miss Dunross seems to have produced a very favorable impression on you," she said.
Woodville in your mother's hearing, and twice over, I declare to you on my word of honor, it failed to produce the slightest impression on her.
The generosity of Sophia's temper construed this behaviour of Jones into great bravery; and it made a deep impression on her heart: for certain it is, that there is no one quality which so generally recommends men to women as this; proceeding, if we believe the common opinion, from that natural timidity of the sex, which is, says Mr Osborne, "so great, that a woman is the most cowardly of all the creatures God ever made;"--a sentiment more remarkable for its bluntness than for its truth.
The man didn't have wings; he walked; but he walked on the gravel which left no impression of his tread.
They must certainly make a great impression on you.