English

Definition of influence verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    influence

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluəns//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluəns//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they influence
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluəns//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluəns//
     
    he / she / it influences
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluənsɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluənsɪz//
     
    past simple influenced
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluənst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluənst//
     
    past participle influenced
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluənst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluənst//
     
    -ing form influencing
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnfluənsɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnfluənsɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to have an effect on the way that somebody behaves or thinks, especially by giving them an example to follow influence somebody/something His writings have influenced the lives of millions. to be strongly influenced by something Don't let me influence you either way. The government refuses to be influenced by public opinion. Research shows that most young smokers are influenced by their friends. I don’t want to influence you. It must be your own decision. influence how, whether, etc… The wording of questions can influence how people answer. influence somebody to do something She was influenced to take up voluntary work by her teacher.
  2. 2  influence something | influence how, where, etc… to have an effect on a particular situation and the way that it develops A number of social factors influence life expectancy. The local climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream.
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, or from medieval Latin influentia ‘inflow’, from Latin influere, from in- ‘into’ + fluere ‘to flow’. The word originally had the general sense ‘an influx, flowing matter’, also specifically (in astrology) ‘the flowing in of ethereal fluid (affecting human destiny)’. The current sense was established in Scholastic Latin by the 13th cent., but not recorded in English until the late 16th cent.Extra examples Attitudes are highly influenced by cultural background. Be aware of external factors which may unduly influence your judgement. He was naive and easily influenced by his friends. Her parents tried to influence her in her choice of university. Pressure from industry bosses has directly influenced government policy. This book influenced her profoundly. We do not seek to influence the decision-making process. actions that positively influence health seeking to influence university appointments At college she met the two people who most influenced her artistic career. It’s your decision. Don’t let me influence you either way. The speed at which you eat strongly influences how much you want to eat. The wording of the question can influence how people answer. Understaffing can adversely influence the recovery of patients.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: influence