im·​paired | \ im-ˈperd \

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 Sober 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for impaired


besotted, blasted [slang], blind, blitzed [slang], blotto [slang], bombed, boozy, canned [slang], cockeyed, crocked, drunk, drunken, fried, gassed, hammered [slang], high, 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

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Examples of impaired in a Sentence

driving while impaired is against the law special devices for sight-impaired visitors

Recent Examples on the Web

Frey was arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired and possession of drug paraphernalia, the station reported. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "Baby survives birth in Burger King restroom as mom OD'd on heroin, police say," 10 Aug. 2018 Suspicious activity It was reported at 7:24 p.m. April 19 that a man was apparently mentally impaired and yelling at various people at East 46th Street and East Avenue. Hank Beckman,, "La Grange police blotter: Man runs from a backyard when seen," 20 Apr. 2018 Born in 1918, Rosemary was mentally impaired and struggled to fit in with her highly ambitious family. Alexia Fernandez,, "Elisabeth Moss To Portray JFK's Sister Rosemary Kennedy Who Underwent a Secret Lobotomy at 23," 10 Feb. 2018 In that crash, the driver of the pickup truck that struck the limo later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired. Jimmy Vielkind And Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Limo Crash at Popular Tourist Spot in Upstate New York Kills 20," 7 Oct. 2018 Officers worry about potential problems such as more impaired drivers and fatalities, and more domestic disputes. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "North Dakota recreational pot measure approved for ballot," 14 Aug. 2018 Half the sample averaged less than 6.4 hours of sleep a night—a pattern that was associated with impaired problem-solving, reasoning and verbal acuity. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "When It Comes to Sleep, One Size Fits All," 25 Oct. 2018 Preemption questions Arguing that VoIP is a telecommunications service, the MPUC tried to force Charter to collect fees from customers in order to contribute to state programs that help poor people and the hearing-impaired access telephone service. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai helped Charter kill consumer-protection rules in Minnesota," 10 Sep. 2018 Her longtime lawyer, Jim Wright, argued a stroke last year left her impaired, allowing him to assume the role of trustee. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Foundation board: Protect Hawaiian heiress' millions," 6 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of impaired

1582, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near impaired





impaired life


impala lily

Statistics for impaired

Last Updated

22 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impaired

The first known use of impaired was in 1582

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More Definitions for impaired



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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Comments on impaired

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involving abstract or general statements

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