Definition of diriment impediment in US English:

diriment impediment


  • (in ecclesiastical law) a factor which invalidates a marriage, such as the existence of a prior marriage.

    • ‘But would not a more detailed and carefully delineated list of diriment impediments to solemn vows deal adequately with most such cases, providing objective grounds for declaring the vows null and void to begin with?’
    • ‘Of course this is notwithstanding that failure to receive dispensation from form invalidates marriages where diriment impediments are not present.’
    • ‘If a diriment impediment exists and consent is exchanged, no marriage is contracted.’
    • ‘Respondent Judge knew or ought to know that a subsisting previous marriage is a diriment impediment, which would make the subsequent marriage null and void.’
    • ‘Further, Of these diriment impediments some are temporary, as defect of age, and some are perpetual, such as Holy Orders.’
    • ‘A further reason is that the Church claims jurisdiction over such mixed marriages, institutes diriment impediments to them, and grants dispensations.’
    • ‘However, if after a marriage, a couple divorces and they can prove that a diriment impediment existed at the moment of consent, the marriage is declared null.’
    • ‘The Second Lateran Council seems to have enacted the first written law making sacred orders a diriment impediment to marriage for the universal Church.’
    • ‘On its completion the novice makes the usual vows of religion, the simple vow of chastity in the Society having the force of a diriment impediment to matrimony.’
    • ‘The canons of the Council of Trent, which pronounce censure of anathema against those who deny to the Church the right of laying down what are diriment impediments, either are not dogmatic, or must be understood as referring only to such borrowed power.’
    • ‘The reason for this is that a prior marriage is only a diriment impediment to marriage, when it is truly valid.’
    • ‘Lastly, there are certain circumstances that hinder the marriage contract and render it invalid; these are called diriment impediments.’


Mid 19th century: diriment from Latin diriment- ‘interrupting’, from the verb dirimere.


diriment impediment

/ˌdirəmənt imˈpedəmənt/