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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

While there are some studies that indicate that marijuana use does impair driving, be aware that other studies are inconclusive. Chicago Tribune, Daily Southtown, "Speak Out: Gas tax, marijuana," 6 June 2019 The married man who abandoned both you and his daughter cannot be expected to come around now, and if he is impaired, his family will realistically try to protect him (and themselves) from this shock. Ask Amy, al, "Ask Amy: Dad’s new wife euthanizes dog, redecorates house and screens his calls. Bad signs?," 25 May 2019 In 2013, McKenzie pleaded no contest to impaired driving and having an open container. Brady Mccombs, The Seattle Times, "5 of the 6 killed in Utah highway crash were from Honduras," 22 Oct. 2018 The memory care area can house up to 31 residents and includes special programs and activities designed for the memory-impaired. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Westmont Town Court: assisted living with a strong community," 7 June 2018 Most of the nearly two dozen protesters are also facing state felony charges of impairing or interrupting operation of a critical infrastructure facility. Dylan Mcguinness, Houston Chronicle, "Nearly two dozen due in court for Greenpeace protest that shut down Houston Ship Channel on day of Democratic debate," 14 Sep. 2019 Muotri explains that in many neurological and psychiatric conditions, the brain is physically intact, yet impaired neuronal circuitry results in disease. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Lab-Grown “Mini Brains” Can Now Mimic the Neural Activity of a Preterm Infant," 29 Aug. 2019 Insecticides like sulfoxaflor and neonicotinoids have been shown to harm bees, impairing their reproductive health and even killing them outright. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations," 22 Aug. 2019 The car’s damaged hood was impairing the driver’s view. San Diego Union-Tribune, "32-year-old driver arrested on suspicion of DUI after CHP officer struck, injured on freeway," 14 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impair

Statistics for impair

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impair

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for impair

impairment

noun

Financial Definition of impairment

What It Is

The term impairment refers to assets that are no longer of the same value as in a prior period. An impairment charge is used and the asset is revalued downward and a "charge" is made to net assets.

How It Works

Impairment normally happens when the value of a company's goodwill declines in market value. Since the advent of FAS (Financial Accounting Standards) 141 and 142, the amortization of goodwill is no longer required, however periodic and annual impairment tests are now necessary. This can work both ways. The goodwill (asset) will stay on the books of the company indefinitely which helps EPS but if there is a market downturn on these assets, a write-down of the value of the asset (impairment charge) will be required which has immediate impact on the income of the company.

For example;

Goodwill Asset  Value (Year 0) $4,000,000

Impairment Test Results Value (Year 1) $3,000,000

Income Statement Impact/ Impairment Charge $1,000,000

Why It Matters

Under US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), tests of impairment are required annually. Thus, an internal control procedure must be established within companies that potentially have such exposure to ensure they are abiding by US GAAP. Failure to do so risks a qualified or adverse opinion from the companies’ auditors.

Source: Investing Answers

impair

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

Kids Definition of impair

: to make less (as in quantity, value, or strength) or worse : damage Smoking can impair your health.
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 impairment (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on impair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impair

Spanish Central: Translation of impair

Nglish: Translation of impair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impair

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!