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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Anglo-Norman empecher, from Old French empeechier (to hinder), from Latin impedicō, impedicāre (I fetter). Cognate with French empêcher (to prevent).



impeach (third-person singular simple present impeaches, present participle impeaching, simple past and past participle impeached)

  1. To hinder, impede, or prevent.
    • Sir J. Davies
      These ungracious practices of his sons did impeach his journey to the Holy Land.
    • Howell
      A defluxion on my throat impeached my utterance.
  2. To bring a legal proceeding against a public official.
    • President Clinton was impeached by the House in November 1999, but since the Senate acquitted him, he was not removed from office.
  3. To charge with impropriety; to discredit; to call into question.
  4. (law) To demonstrate in court that a testimony under oath contradicts another testimony from the same person, usually one taken during deposition.

Derived terms[edit]