Definition of impugn in English:



[with object]
  • Dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question.

    ‘the father does not impugn her capacity as a good mother’
    • ‘He never impugns the motives of those about whom he writes.’
    • ‘Instead, the government concentrated on impugning his motives.’
    • ‘A defamatory statement is one which impugns another person's reputation or adversely affects his or her standing in the community.’
    • ‘That connection alone impugns the report's integrity and validity.’
    • ‘Wrap himself in the flag and impugn the patriotism of any who would question his moral superiority.’
    • ‘And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity.’
    • ‘In doing so, he has impugned the questioner and certainly has impugned the Clerk of the House.’
    • ‘I specifically tried not to unfairly impugn the motives of anti-war types.’
    • ‘Thanks to Clarke and Foster, such questions can now be asked openly, seriously, and without impugning the questioner's patriotism.’
    • ‘All too often, psychology's internal battles have been driven by ‘negative leaders,’ he says: people who attempt to gain power by impugning the motives or actions of others.’
    • ‘They have also attacked the professor personally by impugning his motives and accusing him of opportunism.’
    • ‘‘One can't throw out accusations which impugn the good name of people and question their motivation and commitment,’ said Ms Harrington.’
    • ‘Millions of dollars have gone to help children, and I truly resent this man impugning my integrity.’
    • ‘I really don't have a problem with the substance of his rejoinder, and I certainly did not mean to impugn his motives in my original post.’
    • ‘It irritates me that so many people are not even giving the young woman the benefit of the doubt, and are casting aspersions on her character and impugning her credibility, based on no, or the very flimsiest of, evidence.’
    • ‘Kelly had just gotten through the hard part, and the questioning had not impugned his credibility.’
    • ‘So, too, the neoconservatives are trying to fend off critics by assassinating their character and impugning their motives.’
    • ‘When a president's honesty is impugned, the stakes are high.’
    • ‘Now actually look at what we say, rather than impugning our motives.’
    • ‘And there is no reason to impugn the motives and/or professionalism of all of the other parties.’
    call into question, challenge, question, dispute, query, take issue with, impeach
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Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘assault, attack physically’): from Latin impugnare ‘assail’, from in- ‘towards’ + pugnare ‘fight’.