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

Definition of impede

transitive verb

: to interfere with or slow the progress of

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from impede

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 But the arrival of guard Jimmy Butler, whose domineering habits have been well-chronicled, impeded Wiggins’ progress. Connor Letourneau,, "How Andrew Wiggins is finding new life with the Warriors," 9 Feb. 2020 Tax-preparation firms impeded millions of Americans in using an Internal Revenue Service program that lets people file their taxes for free, a recent U.S. government report concludes. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "14 million Americans paid for tax-prep services they could've gotten for free," 6 Feb. 2020 Vorhees observed two pickup trucks impeding traffic flow of the highway. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 3 Feb. 2020 Trump’s border project is replacing those barriers with the steel bollards, which act like a sieve and can impede water flow. Washington Post, "Trump’s border wall, vulnerable to flash floods, needs large storm gates left open for months," 30 Jan. 2020 Never mind that those same high interest rates would slow the economy, impede job creation for minorities and the poor, and perhaps trigger the recession that subsequently lower interest rates would then cushion. Donald L. Luskin, WSJ, "The Fed Pretends to Listen," 28 Jan. 2020 Casper included major risk factors in its IPO filing, which could impede its growth, including competition and its history of losing money. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Casper's sales are surging but it can't stop losing money," 28 Jan. 2020 This quality can help impede bacterial growth and decay around these samples as well. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This 5,700-Year-Old Chewing Gum Contains a Complete Human Genome," 19 Dec. 2019 Bloody conflicts between the government and rebel groups have plagued Eastern Congo for years, impeding efforts to stop the outbreak. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Coronavirus isn’t a global emergency yet—but two other outbreaks still are," 24 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impede.' 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 impede

circa 1595, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for impede

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impede

Time Traveler for impede

Time Traveler

The first known use of impede was circa 1595

See more words from the same year

Statistics for impede

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for impede


How to pronounce impede (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impede

: to slow the movement, progress, or action of (someone or something)


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

Kids Definition of impede

: to interfere with the movement or progress of A snowstorm impeded his journey.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on impede

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impede

Spanish Central: Translation of impede

Nglish: Translation of impede for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impede for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impede

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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