make an impression

make an impression

To have or create a strong impact on someone, whether good or bad (usually specified by an adjective before "impression.") Make sure you brush your hair and wear a clean suit—you want to make a good impression on your first day in the office. It's clear that the defendant's impassioned speech made a strong impression on the jury.
See also: impression, make
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
She listened, she bowed, and she smiled--and, sometimes, she answered; but it was evidently without meaning or interest, until, wearied with his fruitless efforts to make an impression, and perhaps with a hope of exciting a little jealousy, he turned his attention to her more lively companion.
He came off the bench seven times in a City shirt and it didn't take the 20-year-old long to make an impression. In only his second outing for the club, he notched his first ever senior career goal in a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
To make an impression on the outsider, you've got to "hit 'em where it hurts." A lawmaker or cost-cutting customer unconcerned about that "little foundry industry" on the bottom-rung of the food chain might be persuaded to take notice of how another larger link is impacted.
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