adjective im·paired \ im-ˈperd \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of impaired

:being in an imperfect or weakened state or condition: such as
a :diminished in function or ability :lacking full functional or structural integrity
  • Brennan supports the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of inflammation, swelling, pain and impaired joint movement.
  • —Stan Bergstein
  • Finding jobs can be difficult for visually impaired adults. About 70 percent of them are unemployed, the National Federation of the Blind says.
  • —Eric Aasen
  • … some GERD patients have impaired gut motility, meaning that their stomachs empty too slowly.
  • —Andrew Weil
b :unable to function normally or safely (as when operating a motor vehicle) because of intoxication by alcohol or drugs
  • Drive Sover or Get Pulled Over is the safety advertisement that restaurants and bars will use to remind patrons of the dangers of driving impaired.
  • —Mati Spencer

Examples of impaired in a Sentence

  1. driving while impaired is against the law

  2. special devices for sight-impaired visitors

Recent Examples of impaired from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impaired.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of impaired


impaired Synonyms

besotted, blasted [slang], blind, blitzed [slang], blotto [slang], bombed, boozy, canned [slang], cockeyed, crocked, drunken, fried, gassed, hammered [slang], high, drunk, inebriate, inebriated, intoxicated, juiced [slang], lit, lit up, loaded [slang], looped, oiled [slang], pickled, pie-eyed, plastered, potted [slang], ripped [slang], sloshed [slang], smashed [slang], sottish, soused, sozzled, squiffed (or squiffy), stewed, stiff, stinking [slang], stoned, tanked [slang], tiddly [chiefly British], tight, tipsy, wasted [slang], wet, wiped out [slang]
sober, straight
Related Words
maudlin; beery; befuddled, bleary-eyed, crapulous, dopey (also dopy), rocky, strung out, stupefied; debauched, dissipated, dissolute; alcoholic, bibulous, dipsomaniacal
Near Antonyms
abstemious, abstinent, dry, temperate, teetotal; clearheaded, cool, level, steady

Medical Dictionary



medical Definition of impaired

:being in a less than perfect or whole condition: as
a :disabled or functionally defective often used in combination
  • hearing-impaired
b :intoxicated by alcohol or narcotics
  • driving while impaired

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