from The Century Dictionary.

  • Unpunished.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Unpunished.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective unpunished


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Impune . . . means “unpunished” (as in “with impunity”) and has nothing whatsoever to do with “impugn” which means “to attack (the reputation of)” or something like that, being related to pugno = “to fight” (as in “pugnacious”, “pugilist” etc)
    — “Very Important Things Web Page” (
    It appears (from, e.g., almost every sentence cited on the first page of usage examples for this word*) that almost every person who writes the word “impune” in English intends the word “impugn”.

    * The only two exceptions use the word in the Latin† motto “Nemo me impune lacessit” (or a fragment thereof).

    † That is to say the language of the motto is Latin; it’s the motto of the Order of the Thistle, a chivalric order associated with Scotland.

    January 6, 2011

  • “Nemo me impune lacessit” is also the Montrésor family motto in “The Cask of Amontillado”. Here’s a link to a page containing the text of that story, which I include because it also has nice pop-up definitions for less-common words and phrases:

    January 6, 2011

  • In my experience, in British English usage, the word impune is a verb that means 'to attribute the blame to ...'. I do not remember ever hearing the adjectival use here that has almost the opposite meaning.  The examples above, as of 26/2/14 agree with that.

    February 26, 2014

  • Dan337 is entirely right. Almost every usage example confuses the rarely used adjective impune (unpunished) with the much more common verb impugn (to challenge, question, cast doubt upon). Is there a way of purging misleading examples?

    February 26, 2014

  • for some people, the present usage drives the present definition.

    February 26, 2014