- When a president is declared unfit for office because of his past actions, this is an example of when you impeach the president.
- When you call into question whether someone is acting with honest motives, this is an example of when you impeach his motives.
The definition of impeach is to charge someone in an official position with misconduct, or to question whether something is valid or proper.
- to challenge or discredit (a person's honor, reputation, etc.)
- to formally charge (a public official) with malfeasance in office
- loosely to remove from office (a public official so charged)
Origin of impeachMiddle English empechen ; from Old French empechier, to hinder ; from Late Latin impedicare, to fetter, entangle ; from Classical Latin in-, in + pedica, a fetter ; from pes, foot
Obs. a challenge or accusation
transitive verbim·peached, im·peach·ing, im·peach·es
- a. To make an accusation against: impeach someone of a crime.b. To bring formal charges against (a public official) for wrongdoing while in office.
- To raise doubts about; discredit or disparage: impeach a witness's credibility; impeach someone's character.
Origin of impeachMiddle English empechen, to impede, accuse, from Anglo-Norman empecher, from Late Latin impedicare, to entangle : Latin in-, in; see in–2 + Latin pedica, fetter; see ped- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present impeaches, present participle impeaching, simple past and past participle impeached)
- To hinder, impede, or prevent.
- To bring a legal proceeding against a public official, asserting that because he or she committed some offense, he or she should be removed from office.
- To charge with impropriety; to discredit; to call into question.
- (law) To demonstrate in court that a testimony under oath contradicts another testimony from the same person, usually one taken during deposition.