impair


impair
[14] If to repair something is to ‘put it right’, it seems logical that to impair something should be to ‘make it wrong’. In fact, though, logic has nothing to do with it, for the two words are quite unrelated. Repair comes ultimately from Latin parāre ‘make ready’, whereas impair goes back via Old French empeirier to Vulgar Latin *impējōrāre ‘make worse’.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • impair — impair, aire [ ɛ̃pɛr ] adj. et n. m. • 1521; impar 1484; lat. impar; d apr. pair I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui n est pas pair, qui ne peut être divisé par deux en donnant des nombres entiers. Nombres impairs. Math. Fonction impaire, dont la valeur change de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • impair — impair, aire (in pêr, pê r ) adj. 1°   Terme d arithmétique. Opposé à pair ; qu on ne peut diviser en deux nombres entiers égaux. Trois, cinq, sept, etc. sont des nombres impairs.    Années impaires, celles qui sont exprimées par un nombre impair …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • impair — im·pair /im per/ vt 1: to damage or make worse by or as if by diminishing impair ed health 2: to diminish the value of (property or property rights); specif: to diminish the value of (legal contractual obligations) to the point that a party loses …   Law dictionary

  • impair — Impair. adj. Qui n est point pair, nombre impair. Nous sommes icy nombre impair, en nombre impair. tout nombre est pair ou impair …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Impair — Im*pair , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Impaired}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Impairing}.] [Written also {empair}.] [OE. empeiren, enpeiren, OF. empeirier, empirier, F. empirer, LL. impejorare; L. pref. im in + pejorare to make worse, fr. pejor worse. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Impair — Im pair, a. [F. impair uneven, L. impar; im not + par equal.] Not fit or appropriate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Impair — Im*pair , v. t. To grow worse; to deteriorate. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Impair — Im*pair , n. Diminution; injury. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impair — (v.) late 14c., earlier ampayre, apeyre (c.1300), from O.Fr. empeirier (Mod.Fr. empirer), from V.L. *impejorare make worse, from assimilated form of in into, in (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + L.L. pejorare make worse, from pejor worse. In reference to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • impair — damage, mar, *injure, harm, hurt, spoil Analogous words: *weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, sap, undermine, disable, cripple: *deface, disfigure: *deform, distort, contort, warp Antonyms: improve, amend: repair Contrasted words: better, ameliorate… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • impair — [v] harm, hinder blemish, blunt, cheapen, damage, debase, debilitate, decrease, destroy, deteriorate, devaluate, devalue, diminish, ding*, disqualify, enervate, enfeeble, hurt, injure, invalidate, lessen, lose strength, make useless, mar,… …   New thesaurus