Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make an accusation against.
  • transitive v. To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal.
  • transitive v. To challenge the validity of; try to discredit: impeach a witness's credibility.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To hinder.
  • v. To bring a legal proceeding against a public official, asserting that because he or she committed some offense, he or she should be removed from office.
  • v. To discredit an individual or group with presumed expertise.
  • v. To demonstrate in court that a testimony under oath contradicts another testimony from the same person, usually one taken during deposition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Hindrance; impeachment.
  • transitive v. To hinder; to impede; to prevent.
  • transitive v. To charge with a crime or misdemeanor; to accuse; especially to charge (a public officer), before a competent tribunal, with misbehavior in office; to cite before a tribunal for judgment of official misconduct; to arraign. See Impeachment.
  • transitive v. Hence, to charge with impropriety; to dishonor; to bring discredit on; to call in question.
  • transitive v. To challenge or discredit the credibility of, as of a witness, or the validity of, as of commercial paper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hinder; impede.
  • To call in question; accuse of wrong or error; bring discredit on; disparage; accuse: as, to impeach one's motives; to impeach the credit of a witness.
  • Specifically, to prefer charges of official misconduct against, before a competent tribunal; bring to account by trial for malfeasance in office. See impeachment, 3.
  • To call to account; charge as answerable.
  • n. Same as impeachment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. challenge the honesty or veracity of
  • v. bring an accusation against; level a charge against
  • v. charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office

Etymologies

Middle English empechen, to impede, accuse, from Anglo-Norman empecher, from Late Latin impedicāre, to entangle : Latin in-, in; + Latin pedica, fetter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French empêcher ("hinder"), from Latin impedicare ("fetter") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • <iframe src="http://tinyurl.com/2cd93v" height="54"></iframe>

    October 22, 2007