- to make or cause to become worse; diminish in ability, value, excellence, etc.; weaken or damage: to impair one's health; to impair negotiations.
- to grow or become worse; lessen.
- Archaic. impairment.
Origin of impair1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for impair on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for impairing
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.Chambers' Edinburgh Journal
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
- (tr) to reduce or weaken in strength, quality, etchis hearing was impaired by an accident
Word Origin and History for impairing
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.