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 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
impairernoun … the overwhelming majority of hookups involved alcohol use—an impairer of sexual judgment if ever there was one … — Tiffany Sharples
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.
Origin and Etymology of impair
Middle English empeiren, from Anglo-French empeirer, from Vulgar Latin *impejorare, from Latin in- + Late Latin pejorare to make worse — more at pejorative
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of impair
IMPAIR Defined for Kids
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
Seen and Heard
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