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Impression vs Impress vs Imprint vs Print vs Stamp

Impressionimpressimprintprintstamp are comparable when denoting the perceptible trace or traces left by pressure.

Impression is the most widely applicable of these terms. It may be used with reference to a mark or trace or a series or combination of marks or traces which are produced by the physical pressure of one thing on another (as of a seal upon wax, of a foot upon mud, or of inked type or an etched plate upon paper).

But impression may also be used of a definite or distinct trace or traces left on the mind, spirit, character, or memory by the impact of sensation or experience.

Impress is often used in place of impression especially when the reference is to a clear trace left on the character or the personality by some influence.

Imprint carries a strong implication of sharpness, clearness, or permanence in outline. It may be used in reference to an impression left on a plastic substance. The term specifically applies to the printed name of the publisher or, sometimes, of the printer and place and date of publication at the foot of a book’s title page.

Print is often interchangeable with imprint in the general sense of that word but is more likely to be used when the trace is considered with reference to its retention of every line or characteristic detail of the original. It is the preferred term in combinations.

Stamp applies to an impression produced by or as if by a tool or machine which strikes so hard that it leaves a distinct imprint, often one that serves to authenticate or to approve what is so imprinted, to indicate its origin, or to authorize its passage through the mails. Hence, in extended use, stamp designates a marked or conspicuous impress which wins almost immediate recognition.