obstruction; hindrance; obstacle.
any physical defect that impedes normal or easy speech; a speech disorder.
Chiefly Ecclesiastical Law. a bar, usually of blood or affinity, to marriage: a diriment impediment.
Usually, impediments. impedimenta.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin impedīmentum. See impede, -ment

impedimental [im-ped-uh-men-tl] , impedimentary, adjective
nonimpedimental, adjective
nonimpedimentary, adjective

1. bar, encumbrance, check. See obstacle.

1. help, encouragement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
impediment (ɪmˈpɛdɪmənt)
n , -ments, -menta
1.  a hindrance or obstruction
2.  a physical defect, esp one of speech, such as a stammer
3.  law an obstruction to the making of a contract, esp a contract of marriage by reason of closeness of blood or affinity

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. impedimentem "hindrance," from impedire "impede," lit. "to shackle the feet," from in- "in" + pes (gen. pedis) "foot."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

impediment im·ped·i·ment (ĭm-pěd'ə-mənt)

  1. Something that impedes; a hindrance or an obstruction.

  2. An organic defect preventing clear articulation of speech.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
He rightly identified air resistance as the largest impediment and energy cost
  in high speed transportation.
Any look at how kids have adapted to social networking and technology will tell
  you that gaming isn't an impediment to learning.
Taking this job would have been a impediment to your goals.
Scarcity of resources is not an impediment but an enabler for frugal innovation.
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