My native language isn't english. I'm looking for an english word, a verb in particular, which is used in figurative speech, for 'something that left you a mark' or a feeling, or an experience (I don't know how else to say it; I try to translate in english in the way I would say in my native language; greek) and because of that you will remember it for life. This can be either positive or negative, typically an experience, and the feelings and possible knowledge you acquired from that experience as well.

In my native language we would say that this experiece has "marked" you (sth like that). Meaning that you have thought about it a lot, you have questioned about it, you have discussed it with others etc.

For example: "I saw the 'Lord of the Rings' when I was young and it __verb__ed me." Do you understand?

I thought about the word 'stigmatize', but I don't think this is the appropriate word for it, since I looked it up and it is associated with something negative and/or something more specific to what I'm looking for (could be wrong though).

  • 1
    Etch is used figuratively in the idiom "be etched in (into/on) one's memory (heart/mind)".
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 3:53
  • @ermanen Yes! That is the verb I was looking for! Thank you. It should be an answer such that I can accept it.
    – KeyC0de
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 12:06
  • 1
    mark will work in English too, although leave a mark on is more usual. Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 4:09

3 Answers 3


Etch (verb) is used figuratively in the idiom "be etched in (into/on) one's memory (heart/mind)".

(figuratively) To make a lasting impression.

The memory of 9/11 is etched into my mind.


Macmillan gives a more clear definition but for the adjective etched:

if something is etched on your mind or memory, you can still remember it very clearly, sometimes when you would prefer to forget it

I believe there are both verb and adjective definitions because of the blur between a canonical passive and a participle used as an adjective in the idiom.


"Indelible impression" is a term often used, as in "I saw the 'Lord of the Rings' when I was young and it left an indelible impression me."

  • Ah so the word indelible can be used metaphorically in this sense correct?
    – KeyC0de
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 12:30
  • @Nikos - Yep. And I never metaphor I didn't like!
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:15

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


a powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on a situation or person.

Eg. I saw the 'Lord of the Rings' when I was young and it had an impact on me

Impact can be negative or positive.

  • 1
    I know this word, but I was looking for a verb. Thanks for answering though.
    – KeyC0de
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 12:28

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