Dictionary

impair

verb im·pair \im-ˈper\

: to make (something) weaker or worse

Full Definition of IMPAIR

transitive verb
:  to damage or make worse by or as if by diminishing in some material respect <his health was impaired by overwork> <the strike seriously impaired community services>
im·pair·er noun
im·pair·ment \-mənt\ noun

Examples of IMPAIR

  1. Smoking can impair your health.
  2. Drinking impairs a person's ability to think clearly.
  3. His memory was so impaired by age that he often forgot where he was.

Origin of IMPAIR

Middle English empeiren, from Anglo-French empeirer, from Vulgar Latin *impejorare, from Latin in- + Late Latin pejorare to make worse — more at pejorative
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of IMPAIR

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success <badly injured in an accident>. harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss <careful not to harm the animals>. hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings <hurt by their callous remarks>. damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness <a table damaged in shipping>. impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution <years of smoking had impaired his health>. mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement <the text is marred by many typos>.
IMPAIR Defined for Kids

impair

verb im·pair \im-ˈper\
im·pairedim·pair·ing

Definition of IMPAIR for Kids

:  to make less (as in quantity, value, or strength) or worse :  damage <Smoking can impair your health.>
Medical Dictionary

impair

transitive verb im·pair \im-ˈpa(ə)r, -ˈpe(ə)r\

Medical Definition of IMPAIR

:  to damage or make worse by or as if by diminishing in some material respect <his health was impaired by overwork>
im·pair·ment \-ˈpa(ə)r-mənt\ noun

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