American English

Definition of impair verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

impair

 verb
verb
NAmE//ɪmˈpɛr//
 
impair something (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they impair
 
he / she / it impairs
 
past simple impaired
 
-ing form impairing
 
 
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to damage something or make something worse His age impaired his chances of finding a new job. Thesaurusdamagehurt harm impairThese words all mean to have a bad effect on someone or something.damage to cause physical harm to something, making it less attractive, useful, or valuable; to have a bad effect on someone or something's health, happiness, or chances of success:The fire badly damaged the town hall. emotionally damaged childrenhurt (somewhat informal) to have a bad effect on someone or something's life, health, happiness, or chances of success:Hard work never hurt anyone.harm to have a bad effect on someone or something's life, health, happiness, or chances of success:Pollution can harm marine life.damage, hurt, or harm?Hurt is slightly less formal than damage or harm, especially when it is used in negative statements:It won't hurt him to have to wait a bit. It won't damage/harm him to have to wait a bit.Harm is also often used to talk about ways in which things in the natural world, such as wildlife and the environment, are affected by human activity.impair (somewhat formal) to damage someone's health, abilities, or chances:Even one drink can impair driving performance.Patterns to damage/hurt/harm/impair somebody's chances to damage/hurt/harm somebody's interests/reputation to damage/harm/impair somebody's health to seriously/greatly damage/hurt/harm/impair somebody/something to badly/severely damage/hurt/impair somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: impair