from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Diminished, damaged, or weakened: an impaired sense of smell.
  • adj. Functioning poorly or incompetently: a driver so tired as to be impaired.
  • adj. Having a physical or mental disability: an impaired child in need of special assistance.
  • n. People who have a physical or mental disability considered as a group: a swimming class for the physically impaired.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Rendered less effective
  • adj. inebriated, drunk.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of impair.
  • n. A criminal charge for impaired driving.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. mentally or physically unfit
  • adj. diminished in strength, quality, or utility


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • It's jargon for bladdered, starting to become a bit of a euphemism I think. Actually I suppose it covers other narcotics than just boozahol.

    September 22, 2009

  • I saw 2 versions of this article. The first said legally intoxicated while the second said impaired.

    September 22, 2009

  • Si, senor. The old 'DUI' (driving under the influence) charge has been superseded (superceded?) by DWI (driving while impaired) in most states, I believe.

    September 22, 2009

  • USA friends please help: does impaired mean drunk?

    "Jeckel, a Coast Guard aviation electronics technician stationed in Clearwater until he was discharged on March 26, has several traffic offenses in Routt County, Colo., including guilty verdicts on driving with a restricted license and driving while impaired.

    Pinellas Park police said an initial investigation supported his account of the accident.

    The report indicated Jeckel was traveling about 30 mph in a 25 mph zone. Jeckel likely will not be charged unless found to have been impaired, Forseth said."

    - Brant James, Woman killed when she leans out a moving truck and hits head on mailboxes,, 15 July 2009.

    September 22, 2009