(Latin: worse; diminish, weaken; inferior in quality or condition)

impair (verb), impairs; impaired; impairing
1. To make or to cause something to become worse; to diminish in ability, value, excellence, etc.; to weaken or to damage: Improper eating can impair one's health.

A severe storm is impairing the transmission of the TV programs.

John's vertebrae operation is impairing his mental and physical functions.

2. Etymology: from about 1374, it was ampayre, apeyre, from Old French empeirier, from Vulgar Latin impejorare, "to make worse"; from Latin in-, "into" + Late Latin pejorare, "to make worse", from pejor, "worse".
To make worse or to diminish in quality.
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To decrease in strength.
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Someone who, or that which, impairs or makes a situation worse.
impairment (s), impairments (pl)
1. Damage which results in a reduction of strength or quality.
2. A symptom of reduced quality or strength.
3. The act of making something futile and useless (as by routine).
4. The occurrence of a change for the worse.
5. The condition of being unable to perform as a consequence of physical or mental unfitness; for example, a hearing impairment.
6. A physical or mental defect at the level of a body system or organ.

The official WHO (World Health Organization) definition is: any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function.

7. Etymology: from Middle English enpeire, from Old French empeirier, based on Late Latin pejorare, "to be worse, to worsen" (from Latin pejor, "worse").

The current spelling is the result of an association with words derived from Latin beginning with im-, "thoroughly".

pejorate (PEJ oh rayt)
To make worse, to deteriorate, or to make a change for something that is inferior in quality or condition or effect.
pejoration (pej" uh RAY shuhn)
1. A worsening deterioration, or decline in quality, status, or value.
2. Made more scornful, despised, disdainful, disrespectful, or contemptuous.
3. A change over time in the meaning of a word so that it becomes less favorable or more negative; for example, the English word "cunning" formerly meant "learned" but now it is used to mean "cleverly deceitful".
4. Semantic changes in words to a lower, less approved, or less respectable meaning.
5. In linguistics, a change of meaning for the worse; the process by which the meaning of a word becomes negative or less elevated over a period of time; such as, silly, which formerly meant "deserving sympathy, helpless or simple," has come to mean "showing a lack of good sense, frivolous".
6. Changes over time in the meanings of words so that they become less favorable or more negative.

An example is the English word cunning, formerly used to mean "learned" but now it is used to mean "cleverly deceitful".

pejorative (pi JOR uh tiv) (adjective), more pejorative, most pejorative
A reference of disapproval or scorn about someone or something: Many people use the pejorative term “weed" for a plant that they don’t like and pull out of their gardens, regarding them as unwanted.
A tendency to describe something or someone as being bad.
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pejorative (s) (noun), pejoratives (pl)
An expression that someone or something is contemptible, derisive, or demeaning: A pejorative is a disparaging and derogatory term; such as, “cop” for a police officer or "idiot" when someone disagrees with the statements being made by a speaker.
A word expressing contempt or disapproval.
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pejoratively (puh JOR uh tiv" li)
1. Descriptive of a word, expression, or affix that expresses criticism or disapproval.
2. A designation which tends to make something worse; depreciatory; applied especially to a derivative word in which the meaning of the root word is lowered by the addition of an affix; disparaging.
pejorism (PEJ or riz'm)
1. The belief that the world is becoming worse.
2. The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature is growing worse.
pejorist (PEJ or rist)
Someone who believes that the conditions in the world are becoming worse; such as, with climatic changes; what is happening with economics and government policies; religious hypocrisy or pretense of virtue; internet fraud; military wars; terrorism in the name of religion; greed, public and private individuals; false accusations in politics; ego-centric, foul-mouthed, rabble-rousing (stirring up the passions or prejudices of the public) talk-show hosts (on radio, television, and at rallies) and their followers; company executives, politicians, and others who lie and commit fraudulent acts; etc., etc.
pejority (puh JOR i ti)
The state or condition of being worse.

Pointing to a page about meliorative words The words in the ameliorative, meliorative unit are antonyms of these pejorative words.