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Definition make worse or less effective
  • Alcohol impairs the ability to drive safely.
impairs = makes worse
  • Her vision is impaired.
  • impaired = less effective (than normal)
  • His speech was miraculously unimpaired by his cigar.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • unimpaired = not made worse
    (editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unimpaired means not and reverses the meaning of impaired. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • On day seven, I went to the Center for the Blind and read articles to visually impaired students.
    Jim Stovall  --  The Ultimate Gift
  • impaired = less effective
  • Nearly four times as many Hispanic drivers as non-Hispanic drivers in North Carolina have been charged with driving while impaired.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique's Journey
  • impaired = less effective
  • He thought that he might be permanently blind, or at least impaired, and that would have been the end.
    Gary Paulsen  --  Hatchet
  • impaired = less effective
  • I'm crappy at math, but K's math impairment makes me look like a genius.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • impairment = a condition of being less effective
  • 'You're the only one in the squadron who knows I'm a C.I.D. man,' he confided to Major Major, 'and it's absolutely essential that it remain a secret so that my efficiency won't be impaired.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • impaired = made less effective
  • After the first two passes with the cape Romero knew exactly how bad the vision was impaired.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  The Sun Also Rises
  • impaired = made worse
  • Motor activity is impaired; there is a general reduction of glandular activity; there is an accelerated loss of co-ordination.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon
  • impaired = less effective
  • They continued to sit, gazing with impaired sight at the chief's seat and the glittering lagoon.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • impaired = less effective
  • Motor activity impaired.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon
  • impaired = less effective
  • My left impaired, I sailed in with my right, but not for long.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • impaired = less effective
  • Clearly he did need some things explained to him by a teenager, but I didn't think it was the right time to mention his unfortunate and obvious fashion impairment.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • He resolved to remain binocular and specified to Doc Daneeka that his eye patch be transparent so that he could continue pitching horseshoes, kidnaping Italian laborers and renting apartments with unimpaired vision.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • (editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unimpaired means not and reverses the meaning of impaired. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • No whooping-cough did rack his frame,
    Nor measles drear with spots;
    Not these impaired the sacred name
    Of Stephen Dowling Bots.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • impaired = made less effective
  • Clarke sat quite still for a minute, then he said: "Rouge, impair, manque!
    Agatha Christie  --  The ABC Murders
  • As if his memory were impaired, or his faculties disordered, the prisoner made an effort to rally his attention.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • Strings of expletives he swung lashlike over the backs of his men, and it was evident that his previous efforts had in nowise impaired his resources.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • His alcohol level was probably over the legal limit, meaning he was impaired.
    Nora Roberts  --  Blood Brothers

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