Definition of impeach in English:



[with object]
  • 1Call into question the integrity or validity of (a practice)

    ‘there is no desire to impeach the privileges of the House of Commons’
    • ‘In article 9, the bill declared ‘freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament’.’
    • ‘This privatization of communal resources can impeach the integrity of scientific research.’
    • ‘Opposing attorneys invariably will attempt to impeach the credibility or competence of an expert witness.’
    • ‘The physician's testimony might be impeached, and the report thereby discredited.’
    • ‘They obviously decided that they weren't going to be able to impeach my integrity, so they made the decision to leak the name of a national-security asset, who happened to be my wife.’
    • ‘The most popular tactic is to impeach the credibility of the victim.’
    • ‘There was the prospect of drug tales (the defense was moving to get this chain of questions in) and gossip from the demimonde to impeach his credibility.’
    challenge, question, call into question, cast doubt on, raise doubts about
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    1. 1.1British Charge (someone) with treason or another crime against the state.
      • ‘What happened to the 21 MPs who planned to impeach him?’
      • ‘On his return, he was impeached for incompetence and his bishopric sequestrated, until 1385.’
      • ‘He was impeached of high treason by the Long Parliament in 1640, committed to the Tower in 1641, tried in 1644, condemned, and beheaded.’
      • ‘After an official review of his actions, he was impeached for his dissolution of 1936, which the report argued should have occurred two years previously.’
      • ‘The following year parliament protested that he was exceeding his powers and 70 MPs voted to impeach him.’
    2. 1.2US Charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.
      • ‘While it is theoretically possible to impeach federal judges for the decisions they make, where would the Republicans start?’
      • ‘It's important to recall that when Richard Nixon resigned, he was about to be impeached by the House of Representatives for misusing the CIA and FBI.’
      • ‘In that case he could and should be impeached and removed from office, unanimously.’
      • ‘It is a tenet of impeachment law that we don't impeach judges for their decisions, but rather for conduct which makes them unfit to serve.’
      • ‘Only a handful of federal judges have ever been impeached under this high standard.’
      • ‘The House promptly proceeded, acting in a purely partisan manner, to impeach the president, and send the matter to trial in the Senate.’
      • ‘The House has impeached a dozen judges, most recently in 1989.’
      • ‘The uncovering of serious acts of judicial misconduct could end up with a recommendation to impeach a judge.’
      • ‘The last and only justice to be impeached was Samuel Chase in 1805.’
      • ‘The president, the first Asian leader to be impeached, will be removed from office if found guilty of any of the four charges.’
      • ‘Obviously, a Republican-controlled Congress is not about to impeach its own president.’
      • ‘An interesting academic debate could be had about whether there are circumstances in which a judge could rightly be impeached for making lawless rulings.’
      • ‘And it would impeach any judge that violated the provisions of the bill.’
      • ‘One justice of the Supreme Court, Samuel Chase, was impeached in 1804, but was not convicted.’
      • ‘Under our Constitution, impeaching judges is extremely difficult.’
      • ‘While he can be impeached for abusing this power, he cannot be criminally charged for such an abuse while in office.’
      • ‘William Belknap, secretary of war under Ulysses Grant, was impeached by the House on bribery charges and resigned from office.’
      • ‘He should be impeached, but he won't be because the American public has no idea of what is going on.’
      • ‘In 1804, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached for denying a jury's right to judge law.’
      • ‘The Constitution requires only a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to impeach the president.’
      indict, charge, accuse, bring a charge against, bring a case against, lay charges against, prefer charges against, arraign, take to court, put on trial, bring to trial, prosecute
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Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘hinder, prevent’; earlier as empeche): from Old French empecher ‘impede’, from late Latin impedicare ‘catch, entangle’ (based on pedica ‘a fetter’, from pes, ped- ‘foot’). Compare with impede.