late 14c., "have a strong effect on the mind or heart, to stamp deeply in the mind," from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere "press into or upon, stamp," also figurative, from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Literal sense of "to apply with pressure, make a permanent image in, indent, imprint" is from early 15c. in English. Related: Impressed; impressing.
Meaning "act or process of making a mark upon the surface by pressing" is from early 15c.. Meaning "copy made by pressure from type or an engraving" is from 1550s; that of "printing of a number of copies, aggregate of copies printed at one time" is from 1570s. Meaning "belief, vague notion" (as in under the impression) is from 1610s.