impair

Synonym Chooser

How is the word impair distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of impair are damage, harm, hurt, injure, and mar. While all these words mean "to affect injuriously," impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution.

years of smoking had impaired his health

In what contexts can damage take the place of impair?

The meanings of damage and impair largely overlap; however, damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness.

a table damaged in shipping

When might harm be a better fit than impair?

While the synonyms harm and impair are close in meaning, harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss.

careful not to harm the animals

When could hurt be used to replace impair?

The words hurt and impair are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings.

hurt by their callous remarks

When is injure a more appropriate choice than impair?

Although the words injure and impair have much in common, injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success.

badly injured in an accident

When would mar be a good substitute for impair?

While in some cases nearly identical to impair, mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement.

the text is marred by many typos

Thesaurus Entries Near impair

Cite this Entry

“Impair.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/impair. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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