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.

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.”

Definitions of impair

v make worse or less effective

“His vision was impaired
Type of:
inflict damage upon

v make imperfect

deflower, mar, spoil, vitiate
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cloud, corrupt, defile, sully, taint
place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
blemish, deface, disfigure
mar or spoil the appearance of
mangle, maul
injure badly by beating
mark, pit, pock, scar
mark with a scar
Type of:
inflict damage upon

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