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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Examples of impaired in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

And impaired to the extent that prejudice to the defendant is clearly possible. New York Times, "Charges Dismissed Against District Attorney in Police Shooting Inquiry," 13 June 2018 He was later identified as 33-year-old Richard Howard Walters, who has since been arrested and charged with with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while impaired, according to CBS17. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Officers killed in the line of duty in 2018," 23 May 2018 The driver, 21, was taken into custody on probable cause for first-degree recklessly endangering safety, operating while impaired, operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and eluding police, Fletcher said. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Driver of stolen car tries to ram officers in overnight chase in West Allis and Brookfield," 11 May 2018 Turner was charged with driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, reckless driving and failure to notify the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles of an address change. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Surgeon who caused head-on crash was 3X over the legal limit of alcohol, NC cops say | Charlotte Observer," 11 May 2018 Law enforcement goes by standard field sobriety tests to decide whether a person is considered impaired, both the Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Police Department said. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "A tourist’s guide to legal marijuana in Alaska," 2 May 2018 According to the draft of that revision, 21,423 stream miles are considered impaired, which is an increaee by nearly 2,000 miles from the 2016 report. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana has a polluted reputation. Here's how bad it is.," 19 Apr. 2018 Kevin Harrell, 51, of Wilmington, is now charged with operating a motor vessel while impaired and careless and reckless operation of a motor vehicle in connection with the incident, reports the Wilmington Star. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "4 hurt, 3 boats wrecked, 3 docks sliced during chain reaction of havoc at NC coast," 8 June 2018 Police cited the driver for operating a vehicle while impaired and failing to drive within marked lanes. Bruce Geiselman,, "Man faces marijuana charge after bad reaction to gummy candy: North Olmsted police blotter," 5 May 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

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impaired

The first known use of impaired was in 1582

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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

What made you want to look up impaired? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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