im·​pede im-ˈpēd How to pronounce impede (audio)
impeded; impeding

transitive verb

: to interfere with or slow the progress of
impeder noun
Choose the Right Synonym for impede

hinder, impede, obstruct, block mean to interfere with the activity or progress of.

hinder stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress.

rain hindered the climb

impede implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering.

tight clothing that impedes movement

obstruct implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way.

the view was obstructed by billboards

block implies complete obstruction to passage or progress.

a landslide blocked the road

Examples of impede in a Sentence

He claims that economic growth is being impeded by government regulations. The soldiers could not impede the enemy's advance.
Recent Examples on the Web The ballot measure, if approved by 55% of voters, would prohibit state and local governments from outlawing or impeding access to abortions. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, 17 May 2024 Israel has besieged the Gaza Strip for most of the war, impeding access to electricity, running water, food and medical aid. Aya Batrawy, NPR, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for impede 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impede.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin impedire, from in- + ped-, pes foot — more at foot

First Known Use

circa 1595, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impede was circa 1595

Dictionary Entries Near impede

Cite this Entry

“Impede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​pede im-ˈpēd How to pronounce impede (audio)
impeded; impeding
: to interfere with the movement or progress of
impeder noun

from Latin impedire "to hinder, get in the way of," literally, "to bind or hold the feet of," derived from im-, in- "in, into" and ped-, pes "foot" — related to pedestrian

More from Merriam-Webster on impede

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