a. Something that impedes; a hindrance or obstruction.
b. Law Something that obstructs the making of a legal contract.
2. A physical defect, especially one that interferes with speech.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin impedīmentum, from impedīre, to impede; see IMPEDE.]
im·ped′i·mental (-mĕntl), im·ped′i·menta·ry (-mĕntə-rē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.