- The definition of impair is to hinder or weaken something.
When drinking alcohol causes your reflexes to become slower, this is an example of how drinking impairs your reflexes.
Origin of impairMiddle English empeiren ; from Old French empeirer ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form impejorare ; from Classical Latin in-, intensive + Late Latin pejorare, to make worse: see pejorative
transitive verbim·paired, im·pair·ing, im·pairs
Origin of impairMiddle English empairen, from Old French empeirer, from Vulgar Latin *impēiōrāre : Latin in-, causative pref.; see in–2 + Latin pēior, worse; see ped- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present impairs, present participle impairing, simple past and past participle impaired)
(comparative more impair, superlative most impair)
- (obsolete) Not fit or appropriate.
From Old French empeirier, variant of empirier (“to worsen”), from Vulgar Latin *impēiōrō, from im- + Late Latin pēiōrō (“to make worse”), from peior (“worse”), comparative of malus (“bad”).
impair - Legal Definition