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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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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