Definition of impair in English:


Syllabification: im·pair
Pronunciation: /imˈper


[with object]
Weaken or damage something (especially a human faculty or function): drug use that impairs job performance
More example sentences
  • It damages physical health, impairs individual judgement, leads, at times, to a degree of personal dependence which is a little short of slavery.
  • If they were not precisely placed or if they involved both sides of the brain, they could cause severe damage, impairing speech and leading to cognitive problems.
  • Driving in an intoxicated state makes a person prone to accidents as alcohol impairs judgement and slows reflexes.
have a negative effect on, damage, harm, diminish, reduce, weaken, lessen, decrease, impede, hinder, hobble;
formal vitiate


Middle English enpeire, from Old French empeirier, based on late Latin pejorare (from Latin pejor 'worse'). The current spelling is due to association with words derived from Latin beginning with im-.

Definition of impair in: