Thesaurus

impair

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of impair

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About impair

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impair

Time Traveler for impair

Time Traveler

The first known use of impair was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Impair.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/impair. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on impair

Dictionary: Definition of impair

Medical Dictionary: Definition of impair

Nglish: Translation of impair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impair

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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