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[im-ped-uh-muh nt] /ɪmˈpɛd ə mənt/
obstruction; hindrance; obstacle.
any physical defect that impedes normal or easy speech; a speech disorder.
Chiefly Ecclesiastical Law. a bar, usually of blood or affinity, to marriage:
a diriment impediment.
Usually, impediments. impedimenta.
Origin of impediment
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Latin word impedīmentum. See impede, -ment
Related forms
[im-ped-uh-men-tl] /ɪmˌpɛd əˈmɛn tl/ (Show IPA),
impedimentary, adjective
nonimpedimental, adjective
nonimpedimentary, adjective
1. bar, encumbrance, check. See obstacle.
1. help, encouragement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impediment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Greek Government had put no impediment in the way of arbitration.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • A child born to an unmarried woman is no impediment to her marriage.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • Is the body an impediment, or not, if any one takes it with him as a partner in the search?

  • Perhaps I have had my own impediment, apart from our love for Paul.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • When she spoke of marriage with Paul, I hinted at an impediment.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for impediment


a hindrance or obstruction
a physical defect, esp one of speech, such as a stammer
(law) (pl) -ments, -menta (-ˈmɛntə). an obstruction to the making of a contract, esp a contract of marriage by reason of closeness of blood or affinity
Derived Forms
impedimental, impedimentary, adjective
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 impediment

c.1400, from Latin impedimentem "hindrance," from impedire "impede," literally "to shackle the feet," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impediment in Medicine

impediment im·ped·i·ment (ĭm-pěd'ə-mənt)

  1. Something that impedes; a hindrance or an obstruction.

  2. An organic defect preventing clear articulation of speech.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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