View synonyms for impair



[ im-pair ]

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.

    Antonyms: repair

verb (used without object)

  1. to grow or become worse; lessen.


  1. Archaic. impairment.



[ an-per ]


, French.
  1. noting any odd number, especially in roulette. Compare pair.


/ ɪmˈpɛə /


  1. tr to reduce or weaken in strength, quality, etc

    his hearing was impaired by an accident

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Derived Forms

  • imˈpairment, noun
  • imˈpairer, noun
  • imˈpairable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • im·paira·ble adjective
  • im·pairer noun
  • im·pairment noun
  • nonim·pairment noun
  • preim·pairment noun
  • self-im·paira·ble adjective
  • self-im·pairing adjective
  • unim·paira·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of impair1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English empairen, empeiren “to make worse,” from Middle French empeirer, from em- im- 1 + peirer “to make worse” (from Late Latin pējōrāre, verb derivative of Latin pējor “worse”; pejoration )

Origin of impair2

First recorded in 1820–30; from French: literally, “odd,” from Latin impār “odd, unequal”; equivalent to im- 2( def ) + pair 2( def )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of impair1

C14: from Old French empeirer to make worse, from Late Latin pējorāre, from Latin pejor worse; see pejorative

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Synonym Study

See injure.

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Example Sentences

Instead, it’s more consistent with the idea that repeated cold exposure might actually impair your toes’ ability to handle the cold.

A smart pill detects an athlete’s body temperature and transmits it to an external device, so coaches can look for spikes that might impair performance.

Another study from 2017 had athletes eat a low-carb diet for three weeks and found that it impaired performance by reducing exercise efficiency.

Alterations to hotels, public buildings and transport hubs prepared Tokyo not only for physically impaired Paralympic athletes and fans, but also for the creaking limbs of its own population, the world’s oldest.

From Time

Stress actually impairs the body’s ability to repair itself.

Formerly to impair the morals was a minor was a punishable offense.

In other words, researchers were able to prove that THC should, technically, impair driving, but not that it does.

Does Ambien impair judgment enough to drive one to violent crime?

A host of environmental influences more directly impair brain functioning in a way that predisposes to violence.

But recent research indicates that stress-inducing measures can actually impair memory.

They can never be taken from the capital, for this would impair it and, if continued, result in the insolvency of the corporation.

Such history never loses its interest, nor does the lapse of ages, in the least degree, impair its credibility.

Yes, there is that unchangeable oval cut of face, those features which time will never impair, that graceful and thoughtful brow.

That the acts in question impair this contract, has already been sufficiently shown.

They impair and take away the charter; and they appropriate the property to new uses, against their consent.





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