[ im-pair ]
See synonyms for: impairimpairedimpairment on

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)
  1. to grow or become worse; lessen.

  1. Archaic. impairment.

Origin of impair

1250–1300; Middle English empairen, empeiren “to make worse,” from Middle French empeirer, equivalent to em- im-1 + peirer “to make worse,” from Late Latin pējōrāre, equivalent to Latin pējōr-, stem of pējor “worse” + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix; cf. pejorative

synonym study For impair

1. See injure.

Opposites for impair

Other words from impair

  • 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

Words Nearby impair

Other definitions for impair (2 of 2)

[ an-per ]

  1. noting any odd number, especially in roulette. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use impair in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for impair


/ (ɪmˈpɛə) /

  1. (tr) to reduce or weaken in strength, quality, etc: his hearing was impaired by an accident

Origin of impair

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

Derived forms of impair

  • impairable, adjective
  • impairer, noun
  • impairment, noun

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