early 15c., "to give a part of (one's possessions);" late 15c., "to share, take part in," from Old French empartir, impartir "assign, allot, allocate, share out" (14c.), from Late Latin impartire (also impertire) "to share in, divide with another; communicate," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + partire "to divide, part" (from pars "a part, piece, a share," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").
Meaning "communicate as knowledge or information" is from 1540s; the word was not originally restricted to immaterial things but now usually is only in reference to qualities. Related: Imparted; imparting; impartment.
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