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How to pronounce impair (audio)


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Dictionary definition of impair

To weaken or damage something, often by causing a reduction in quality or functionality.
"Lack of sleep can impair your cognitive abilities."

Detailed meaning of impair

When something is impaired, it may not be able to perform its intended function as well as it could before. For example, a person's vision can be impaired by a condition like cataracts, making it more difficult to see clearly. Similarly, a car's performance can be impaired if it has a faulty engine or transmission, causing it to run less efficiently or break down more frequently. Impairment can also refer to a reduction in cognitive or mental functioning, such as when someone's memory is impaired by a brain injury or illness. Overall, impairment suggests that something is not working as well as it should be, and may require attention or intervention to restore it to full capacity.

Example sentences containing impair

1. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair cognitive functions and decision-making.
2. Poor lighting in the room can impair your ability to read comfortably.
3. Chronic sleep deprivation can impair your overall health and concentration.
4. Smoking can impair lung function and lead to respiratory issues.
5. The rainstorm had the potential to impair road visibility.
6. A scratched lens can impair the quality of your camera's photos.

History and etymology of impair

The verb 'impair' has its origins in Old French, where it was spelled as 'empairier.' It is derived from the Latin word 'imparare,' which means 'to make worse' or 'to damage.' In Latin, 'impar' means 'not equal' or 'unequal,' and 'imparare' describes the act of rendering something unequal or making it worse in quality or condition. As the word transitioned into Middle English, it retained this essential meaning, describing the action of weakening or damaging something, often by causing a reduction in quality or functionality. The etymology of 'impair' underscores the idea of making something worse or unequal, emphasizing the negative transformation or deterioration associated with the term.

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Further usage examples of impair

1. Injuries to the knee can impair mobility and require rehabilitation.
2. Overworking without breaks can impair productivity and mental health.
3. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can impair hearing.
4. Failing to maintain a balanced diet can impair your immune system.
5. A damaged circuit can impair the functionality of electronic devices.
6. Bright lights can impair your vision temporarily.
7. Alcohol consumption can impair your judgment.
8. Certain medications can impair your motor skills.
9. Excessive noise can impair your hearing.
10. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can impair your skin.
11. Chronic stress can impair your immune system.
12. Malnutrition can impair your overall health.
13. Smoking can impair lung function over time.
14. Insufficient exercise can impair cardiovascular fitness.
15. Untreated allergies can impair your quality of life.
16. Overconsumption of sugary drinks can impair dental health.
17. Excessive screen time can impair your eyesight.
18. Certain diseases can impair organ function.
19. Environmental pollution can impair air quality.
20. Untreated mental health issues can impair daily functioning.
21. High levels of stress can impair sleep patterns.
22. Prolonged sitting can impair posture and back health.
23. Excessive noise exposure can impair concentration.
24. Inadequate hydration can impair physical performance.



damage, enhance, improve, restore


Prefix im-, Ravage and Ruin, Decline and Decay, Middle School 5, Reduce and Weaken

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