Definition of impeach in English:



  • 1 Call into question the integrity or validity of (a practice)

    ‘there is no basis to Searle's motion to impeach the verdict’
    • ‘Opposing attorneys invariably will attempt to impeach the credibility or competence of an expert witness.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This privatization of communal resources can impeach the integrity of scientific research.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The physician's testimony might be impeached, and the report thereby discredited.’
    challenge, question, call into question, cast doubt on, raise doubts about
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    1. 1.1US Charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.
      ‘the governor served only one year before being impeached and convicted for fiscal fraud’
      • ‘William Belknap, secretary of war under Ulysses Grant, was impeached by the House on bribery charges and resigned from office.’
      • ‘In 1804, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached for denying a jury's right to judge law.’
      • ‘While it is theoretically possible to impeach federal judges for the decisions they make, where would the Republicans start?’
      • ‘One justice of the Supreme Court, Samuel Chase, was impeached in 1804, but was not convicted.’
      • ‘The House has impeached a dozen judges, most recently in 1989.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An interesting academic debate could be had about whether there are circumstances in which a judge could rightly be impeached for making lawless rulings.’
      • ‘He should be impeached, but he won't be because the American public has no idea of what is going on.’
      • ‘The Constitution requires only a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to impeach the president.’
      • ‘The House promptly proceeded, acting in a purely partisan manner, to impeach the president, and send the matter to trial in the Senate.’
      • ‘Only a handful of federal judges have ever been impeached under this high standard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The president, the first Asian leader to be impeached, will be removed from office if found guilty of any of the four charges.’
      • ‘While he can be impeached for abusing this power, he cannot be criminally charged for such an abuse while in office.’
      • ‘Under our Constitution, impeaching judges is extremely difficult.’
      • ‘The last and only justice to be impeached was Samuel Chase in 1805.’
      • ‘And it would impeach any judge that violated the provisions of the bill.’
      • ‘The uncovering of serious acts of judicial misconduct could end up with a recommendation to impeach a judge.’
      • ‘In that case he could and should be impeached and removed from office, unanimously.’
      • ‘Obviously, a Republican-controlled Congress is not about to impeach its own president.’
    2. 1.2British Charge with treason or another crime against the state.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On his return, he was impeached for incompetence and his bishopric sequestrated, until 1385.’
      • ‘What happened to the 21 MPs who planned to impeach him?’
      • ‘He was impeached of high treason by the Long Parliament in 1640, committed to the Tower in 1641, tried in 1644, condemned, and beheaded.’


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.