If you make bad decisions in the morning after drinking coffee, you might conclude that caffeine tends to impair your judgment. When you impair something, you damage it or make it work poorly.

  • Pronunciation: / ɪm'pɛr/
  • English description: make worse or less effective
  • Synonyms: damage
  • Chinese Translation: 损害(sun3 hai4)
  • Spanish Translation: perjudicar
  • ORIGIN: The root of the verb impair traces back to the Latin word pejorare, meaning “to make worse,” and that’s still what happens if you impair something. Whether it’s communication, visibility, or your marriage prospects, if you impair it, you make it worse. The word can be used for situations that describe something that has deteriorated, such as “Snow continued to impair driving conditions.”


  • It is a complex process that can be impaired by stress or later-acquired information.
  • It can impair physical activity, and that increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and general poor health, the study authors said.

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