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impair

[im-pair] /ɪmˈpɛər/
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)
2.
to grow or become worse; lessen.
noun
3.
Archaic. impairment.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English empairen, empeiren to make worse < Middle French empeirer, equivalent to em- im-1 + peirer to make worse < Late Latin pējōrāre, equivalent to Latin pējōr-, stem of pējor worse + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix; cf. pejorative
Related forms
impairable, adjective
impairer, noun
impairment, noun
nonimpairment, noun
preimpairment, noun
self-impairable, adjective
self-impairing, adjective
unimpairable, adjective
Synonyms
1. See injure.
Antonyms
1. repair.

impair

[an-per] /ɛ̃ˈpɛr/
adjective, French.
1.
noting any odd number, especially in roulette.
Compare pair.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for impair
  • Foot problems can also impair balance and function in this age group.
  • Alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine impair decision-making skills.
  • But this cannot impair respect for his broader judgment: historians will always be arguing.
  • Low levels can impair physical and mental development.
  • Interestingly, such a disruption does not impair memory for facts and events that have already been consolidated.
  • There was no evidence that he had suffered any medical or environmental insults that would impair his immunity.
  • In humans, this could explain why sleep deprivation can impair judgment.
  • Most people would want to edit memories that impair them.
  • Low oxygen levels also can impair mental function and short-term memory.
  • Unfortunately, that energy must be imported at great expense or produced locally, which can impair an area's desirability.
British Dictionary definitions for impair

impair

/ɪmˈpɛə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to reduce or weaken in strength, quality, etc: his hearing was impaired by an accident
Derived Forms
impairable, adjective
impairer, noun
impairment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French empeirer to make worse, from Late Latin pējorāre, from Latin pejor worse; see pejorative
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
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Word Origin and History for impair
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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