Definition of impair
: to diminish in function, ability, or quality : to weaken or make worse It has been known for nearly 100 years that memory is impaired by bilateral damage to either of two brain regions … — Larry R. Squire The use of drugs further complicates the situation of these families and sometimes impairs their ability to raise children. — Ellen L. Bassuk … the prospect of generating normal profitability is impaired by excessive debt service. — John Nozell The physician also checks for signs of endometriosis, a condition in which the cells that normally compose the uterine lining grow outside the uterus, sometimes impairing fertility. — Martha Southgate
impairernoun … the overwhelming majority of hookups involved alcohol use—an impairer of sexual judgment if ever there was one … — Tiffany Sharples
Examples of impair in a Sentence
Smoking can impair your health.
Drinking impairs a person's ability to think clearly.
His memory was so impaired by age that he often forgot where he was.
Recent Examples of impair from the Web
After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.
According to police reports, officers stopped Fletcher for swerving between two lanes of traffic near Butterfield Road and Greenleaf Drive, and later determined he was impaired.
The agency also expanded its drone program to Yemen under Mr. D’Andrea’s direction, and many in the C.I.A. credit him with playing an instrumental role in impairing Al Qaeda.
Weinstein said prosecutors would have to use other evidence that Woods was impaired, such as failing roadside sobriety tests, being found asleep at the wheel or signs of a possible accident with his car.
Unlike a breathalyzer, drug testing doesn’t prove a driver was impaired behind the wheel.
Stiffer penalties already exist for motorists found to be driving while impaired by drugs.
Excess sugar in the body attaches to proteins, lipids and DNA, forming advanced glycation end products that can impair protein function, damage cellular membranes and lead to genetic instability.
Sabet said marijuana use causes respiratory problems, results in low-birth-weight babies and can impair learning with permanent IQ loss when consumed in large quantities by someone who's young, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impair'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology 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
IMPAIR Defined for Kids
Legal Definition of impair
1 : to damage or make worse by or as if by diminishing impaired health
2 : to diminish the value of (property or property rights); specifically : to diminish the value of (legal contractual obligations) to the point that a party loses the benefit of the contract or the contract otherwise becomes invalid a law impairing a state's own obligations was entitled to less deference — Gerald Gunther — see also contract clause
Seen and Heard
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