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See more synonyms for impediment on Thesaurus.com
  1. obstruction; hindrance; obstacle.
  2. any physical defect that impedes normal or easy speech; a speech disorder.
  3. Chiefly Ecclesiastical Law. a bar, usually of blood or affinity, to marriage: a diriment impediment.
  4. Usually impediments. impedimenta.
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Origin of impediment

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word impedīmentum. See impede, -ment
Related formsim·ped·i·men·tal [im-ped-uh-men-tl] /ɪmˌpɛd əˈmɛn tl/, im·ped·i·men·ta·ry, adjectivenon·im·ped·i·men·tal, adjectivenon·im·ped·i·men·ta·ry, adjective

Synonyms for impediment

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Antonyms for impediment

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for impediment

hitch, flaw, barrier, restriction, handicap, drawback, setback, snag, difficulty, inhibition, obstacle, hurdle, hazard, burden, defect, deterrent, bottleneck, disadvantage, load, cramp

Examples from the Web for impediment

Contemporary Examples of impediment

Historical Examples of impediment

British Dictionary definitions for impediment


  1. a hindrance or obstruction
  2. a physical defect, esp one of speech, such as a stammer
  3. plural -ments or -menta (-ˈmɛntə) law an obstruction to the making of a contract, esp a contract of marriage by reason of closeness of blood or affinity
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Derived Formsimpedimental or 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

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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

impediment in Medicine


  1. Something that impedes; a hindrance or an obstruction.
  2. An organic defect preventing clear articulation of speech.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.