Impair meaning

ĭm-pâr
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.

verb
3
1
To cause to weaken, be damaged, or diminish, as in quality.

An injury that impaired my hearing; a severe storm impairing communications.

verb
2
0
To make worse, less, weaker, etc.; reduce an ability or function.
verb
1
0
Of property or a contractual right, to interfere in such a way as to diminish its value.
verb
1
1
To weaken; to affect negatively; to have a diminishing effect on.
verb
1
1
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(intransitive, archaic) To grow worse; to deteriorate.

verb
0
0
(obsolete) Not fit or appropriate.
adjective
0
0

Origin of impair

  • Middle English empairen from Old French empeirer from Vulgar Latin impēiōrāre Latin in- causative pref. in–2 Latin pēior worse ped- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary