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impair1

[im-pair] /ɪmˈpɛər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make or cause to become worse; diminish in ability, value, excellence, etc.; weaken or damage:
to impair one's health; to impair negotiations.
verb (used without object)
2.
to grow or become worse; lessen.
noun
3.
Archaic. impairment.
Origin of impair1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English empairen, empeiren to make worse < Middle French empeirer, equivalent to em- im-1 + peirer to make worse < Late Latin pējōrāre, equivalent to Latin pējōr-, stem of pējor worse + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix; cf. pejorative
Related forms
impairable, adjective
impairer, noun
impairment, noun
nonimpairment, noun
preimpairment, noun
self-impairable, adjective
self-impairing, adjective
unimpairable, adjective
Synonyms
1. See injure.
Antonyms
1. repair.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impairing
Historical Examples
  • I will not do my family the injury of impairing the little I have.

    Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens
  • The money was her husband's, and you knew it, and you knew it was impairing his estate to furnish it.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page
  • The caution increased his cunning but was impairing his character.

    The Young Man and the World Albert J. Beveridge
  • Emerson has used the same figure, but in a passage which ought not to be regarded as impairing our author's originality.

  • By these means I was enabled to reserve all my rents for carrying on my lawsuits, without at all impairing the estate.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • Depressing thoughts interfere with the cerebral circulation, impairing the nutrition of the cells and nerve centers.

    Nuggets of the New Thought

    William Walker Atkinson,
  • Rapid changes of temperature act as an exciting cause of laminitis by impairing the normal blood supply.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • What are the agencies alternately improving or impairing the racial qualities?

  • It's impairing her looks, making her nervous and almost hysterical—in a word, quite unlike herself.

    From Out the Vasty Deep Mrs. Belloc Lowndes
  • The whole thing was so exquisitely wrought that age had only softened the lines, without in the least impairing them.

British Dictionary definitions for impairing

impair

/ɪmˈpɛə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to reduce or weaken in strength, quality, etc: his hearing was impaired by an accident
Derived Forms
impairable, adjective
impairer, noun
impairment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French empeirer to make worse, from Late Latin pējorāre, from Latin pejor worse; see pejorative
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impairing

impair

v.

late 14c., earlier ampayre, apeyre (c.1300), from Old French empeirier (Modern French empirer), from Vulgar Latin *impeiorare "make worse," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + Late Latin peiorare "make worse" (see pejorative). In reference to driving under the influence of alcohol, first recorded 1951 in Canadian English. Related: Impaired; impairing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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