To impede means to obstruct or slow down the progress of something or someone.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Hinder, obstruct, block, delay, hamper, thwart


Aid, assist, facilitate, help, promote

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun impediment, impediments
Verb impeding, impede, impeded, impedes
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The traffic jam impeded our journey and made us late for the meeting.

  • The heavy rainfall impeded the construction work, causing a delay in the project completion.

  • The company’s financial problems impeded its growth and expansion plans.

  • The lack of resources impeded the team’s ability to complete the project on time.


The word impede is often used to describe a situation where something or someone is being prevented from making progress. It can refer to physical obstructions, such as traffic or construction, or to more abstract obstacles, such as financial difficulties or personal challenges. The word is often used in formal or professional contexts, such as in business or academic writing.

The word impede is derived from the Latin word impedire, meaning to shackle or entangle. The prefix “im-” means “not” or “without”, while the root “ped” comes from the Latin word for foot, which is related to the word pedestrian. Therefore, the word impede literally means “not able to move forward on foot.”

Impede is often used in combination with other words to describe specific types of obstacles or hindrances. For example, the phrase “impede progress” is commonly used to describe anything that slows down or obstructs the achievement of a goal or objective. Other common phrases include “impede traffic”, “impede growth”, and “impede performance.”

Antonyms of impede include words like aid, assist, facilitate, help, and promote, which suggest actions that support or enable progress rather than hindering it. It is important to note that while impede generally has a negative connotation, there may be situations where slowing down or obstructing progress is necessary or beneficial. For example, speed limits on roads are intended to impede traffic in order to improve safety.