part of speech: noun

definition 1: the power or invisible action of a thing or person that causes some kind of effect on another.

  • Her father plays the drums and had a lot of influence on her decision to play the drums too.

synonyms: power, sway

definition 2: a thing or person that has the power to affect another.

  • Parents are often a big influence on their children’s opinions.

synonyms: force


part of speech: verb

inflections: influences, influencing, influenced

definition: to have influence on; affect.

  • His friends influenced him to take up soccer.

synonyms: affect, sway

derivations: influenced (adj.), influencer (n.)

Word History
The words influence and influenza both had their beginnings in a Latin word that meant “to flow in.” In Roman times, the Latin word was often used for the effects the stars had on human affairs. The belief that the position of the stars could bring about good or evil events continued into the Renaissance period in Britain and western Europe. The flu was thought to be caused by a bad influence from the stars.