9 substitutes for ‘impactful’

Emboldened by its Merriam-Webster approval, this odious word-goblin continues to clutter copy around the globe. Try these less annoying options.

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Everyone has a word that causes your eye to twitch and your fists to ball up.

You’d be forgiven if “impactful” is on your list. It’s pervasive and persistent. It’s vague. Something about it just doesn’t feel right.

Urban Dictionary defines “impactful” as:

“A non-existent word coined by corporate advertising, marketing and business drones to make their work sound far more useful, exciting and beneficial to humanity than it really is. This term is most frequently used in “team-building” seminars and conferences in which said drones discuss the most effective ways to convince consumer zombies to purchase crap they clearly do not need or even want.”

That’s not quite true, as “impactful” has been used since at least the 1950s. However, it smacks of the overwrought corporate jargon communicators should avoid.

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