Impotence

(redirected from impotences)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

impotence

n. the male's inability to copulate. Impotence can be grounds for annulment of a marriage if the condition existed at the time of the marriage and grounds for divorce whenever it occurs under the laws of 26 states. It should not be confused with sterility, which means inability to produce children.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

IMPOTENCE, med. jur. The incapacity for copulation or propagating the species. It has also been used synonymously with sterility.
     2. Impotence may be considered as incurable, curable, accidental or temporary. Absolute or incurable impotence, is that for which there is no known relief, principally originating in some malformation or defect of the genital organs. Where this defect existed at the time of the marriage, and was incurable, by the ecclesiastical law and the law of several of the American states, the marriage may be declared void ab initio. Com. Dig. Baron and Feme, C 3; Bac. Ab. Marriage, &c., E 3; 1 Bl. Com. 440; Beck's Med. Jur. 67; Code, lib. 5, t. 17, l. 10; Poyn. on Marr. and Div. ch. 8; 5 Paige, 554; Merl. Rep. mot Impuissance. But it seems the party naturally impotent cannot allege that fact for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. 3 Phillim. R. 147; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 384. See 3 Phillim. R. 325; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 408; 1 Chit. Med. Jur. 877; 1 Par. & Fonb. 172, 173. note d; Ryan's Med. Jur. 95. to 111; 1 Bl. Com. 440; 2 Phillim. R. 10; 1 Hagg. R. 725. See, as to the signs of impotence, 1 Briand, Med. Leg. c. 2, art. 2, Sec. 2, n. 1; Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales, art. Impuissance; and, generally, Trebuchet, Jur. de la. Med. 100, 101, 102; 1 State Tr. 315; 8 State Tr. App. No. 1, p. 23; 3 Phillm. R. 147; 1 Hagg. Eccl. R. 523; Fodere, Med. Leg. Sec. 237.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Meanwhile he remained conscious of his own concentrated desire, his impotence to bring about anything he wished, and his increasing agony of impatience.
It is from that salutory but terrible ordeal that we have just emerged, with minds which are still stunned by the suddenness of the blow and with spirits which are chastened by the realization of our own limitations and impotence. The world has paid a fearful price for its schooling.
Whether it was merely the expelled breath, or his consciousness of his growing impotence, I know not, but his throat vibrated with a deep groan.