impediment

noun im·ped·i·ment \ im-ˈpe-də-mənt \

Definition of impediment

1 :something that impedes; especially :an impairment (such as a stutter or a lisp) that interferes with the proper articulation of speech
2 :a bar or hindrance (such as lack of sufficient age) to a lawful marriage

Examples of impediment in a Sentence

  1. tough going for the burros on the canyon trail, even without the added impediment of heavy loads

Recent Examples of impediment from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impediment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Impediment comes from a Latin verb that meant "to interfere with" or "to get in the way of progress", as if by tripping up the feet of someone walking. In English, impediment still suggests an obstruction or obstacle along a path; for example, a lack of adequate roads and bridges would be called an impediment to economic development. Impediments usually get in the way of something we want. So we may speak of an impediment to communication, marriage, or progress--but something that slows the progress of aging, disease, or decay is rarely called an impediment.

First Known Use of impediment

14th century



IMPEDIMENT Defined for English Language Learners

impediment

noun

Definition of impediment for English Language Learners

  • : something that makes it difficult to do or complete something : something that interferes with movement or progress

  • : a condition that makes it difficult to speak normally


IMPEDIMENT Defined for Kids

impediment

noun im·ped·i·ment \ im-ˈpe-də-mənt \

Definition of impediment for Students

1 :something that interferes with movement or progress
2 :a condition that makes it difficult to speak normally

Word Root of impediment

The Latin word pes, meaning “foot,” and its form pedis give us the root ped. A pedestrian is a person who travels on foot. Before trains, planes, and cars, an expedition, or journey, was often carried out by foot. An impediment makes movement or progress difficult, as if getting in the way of the feet.


Medical Dictionary

impediment

noun im·ped·i·ment \ im-ˈped-ə-mənt \

medical Definition of impediment

:something that impedes
  • children with deafness or hearing impediments
; especially :an impairment (as a stutter or a lisp) that interferes with the proper articulation of speech

Law Dictionary

impediment

noun im·ped·i·ment \ im-ˈpe-də-mənt \

legal Definition of impediment

:something that prevents or interferes with a process, power, or right
  • should have known of the legal impediments to the execution of any judgment against the police jury
  • Penalber v. Blount, 550 So. 2d 577 (1989)
; specifically :a bar to the formation of a valid contract or marriage — compare nullity


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