"Swift use of this jinx can freeze an attacker for a few moments, or stop a magical beast in its tracks. The jinx is a vital part of any duellist’s arsenal."
Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk[src]

The Impediment Jinx[3] (Impedimenta[1]), also known as the Impediment Hex[4] is a jinx that slows the target.[1] It is a common spell used in duelling.


It is only temporary[1], lasting about ten seconds[5]. Although it is capable of freezing a wasp in mid-air[1], it is ineffective against lethifolds[4]. It was also ineffective against Acromantula (or some variant of giant spider, anyway) and Blast-Ended Skrewts unless it happens to hit them on their underbellies, which have no protective armour.

The jinx will usually simply immobilise a target[1], it can also be used to push or throw a target backward[6] simply decrease the velocity of the victim's movement[3], or can even levitate them[7].

Known uses

"I like the look of this one, this Impediment Jinx. Should slow down anything that’s trying to attack you, Harry. We’ll start with that one."
—Hermione Granger helping Harry Potter learn the jinx[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
Harry Potter June, 1995 Harry learned this spell to use in the third task of the Triwizard Tournament.
24 June, 1995 Harry used it to good effect on the Acromantula and on the huge Blast-Ended Skrewt in the hedge maze.
18 June, 1996 Harry used this jinx during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries on a Death Eater and on Lucius Malfoy.
30 June, 1997 Harry used this jinx on Inferi in the crystal cave.
Harry used this on Amycus Carrow while the latter was duelling Ginny during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.
He attempted to cast it on Snape, when the latter was trying to flee school grounds after killing Albus Dumbledore
27 July, 1997 Cast by Harry on a Death Eater just after the sidecar he was riding in broke off the flying motorbike.
D.A. members 1995-1996 school year Harry taught the D.A. to use this jinx.
Madam Hooch Madam Hooch used this to knock Harry away from Draco Malfoy as they were fighting after a Quidditch match.
James Potter I June 1976 Harry saw his father use this on Snape in the Pensieve, while he was bullying him.

Known practitioners


The incantation "Impedimenta" is derived from the Latin word "impedimentum", meaning "a hindrance".


Behind the scenes

In the film version of Order of the Phoenix, James Potter used this spell to levitate Severus Snape and dangle him in the air, while in the book, he used Levicorpus.

Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape ·
Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks: The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls ·
Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection ·
Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius