impair

verb
im·​pair | \ im-ˈper How to pronounce impair (audio) \
impaired; impairing; impairs

Definition of impair

transitive verb

: 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

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Other Words from impair

impairer noun
… the overwhelming majority of hookups involved alcohol use—an impairer of sexual judgment if ever there was one … — Tiffany Sharples

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web That’s not to say variants won’t impair immune protection. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 22 Aug. 2021 The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last week summoned executives from the country’s largest online platforms to emphasize the need to end closed ecosystems that impair the flow of commerce. Time, 17 Sep. 2021 To that end, consider people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, eating disorders, or mental illness which might impair their ability to even assess their body, let alone adore it. Kelsey Miller, refinery29.com, 16 Sep. 2021 Earlier this year, parent company Stellantis issued flash-downloadable security upgrades for those models that impair drivability if the system detects a break-in. Jim Gorzelany, Forbes, 6 Sep. 2021 Drug makers believe offering a drug before studies are finished could impair its development and jeopardize FDA approval. NBC News, 11 May 2021 Also, elderly people may take medications that impair their ability to tolerate high temperatures. oregonlive, 23 July 2021 Monsoon thunderstorms not only bring the threat of heavy rainfall, but massive clouds of blowing dust that impair visibility. Hannah Gard And Monica Garrett, CNN, 22 July 2021 In addition, elderly people may take medications that impair their ability to tolerate high temperatures. NBC News, 11 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of impair

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for impair

Middle English empeiren, from Anglo-French empeirer, from Vulgar Latin *impejorare, from Latin in- + Late Latin pejorare to make worse — more at pejorative

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Learn More About impair

Time Traveler for impair

Time Traveler

The first known use of impair was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near impair

impaint

impair

impairable

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Statistics for impair

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impair. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for impair

impair

verb
im·​pair | \ im-ˈper How to pronounce impair (audio) \
impaired; impairing

Kids Definition of impair

: to lessen in function, ability, or quality : weaken or make worse Smoking can impair health.

impair

transitive verb
im·​pair | \ im-ˈpa(ə)r, -ˈpe(ə)r How to pronounce impair (audio) \

Medical 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 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

Other Words from impair

impairment \ -​ˈpa(ə)r-​mənt How to pronounce impair (audio) \ noun

impair

transitive verb
im·​pair | \ im-ˈper How to pronounce impair (audio) \

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

Other Words from impair

impairment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impair

Nglish: Translation of impair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impair for Arabic Speakers

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