Share this entry

impeach Line breaks: im|peach
Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpiːtʃ/

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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • This privatization of communal resources can impeach the integrity of scientific research.
challenge, question, call into question, cast doubt on, raise doubts about
1.1British Charge (someone) with treason or another crime against the state.
Example sentences
  • He was impeached of high treason by the Long Parliament in 1640, committed to the Tower in 1641, tried in 1644, condemned, and beheaded.
  • On his return, he was impeached for incompetence and his bishopric sequestrated, until 1385.
  • 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.
1.2chiefly US Charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.
Example sentences
  • In that case he could and should be impeached and removed from office, unanimously.
  • William Belknap, secretary of war under Ulysses Grant, was impeached by the House on bribery charges and resigned from office.
  • While he can be impeached for abusing this power, he cannot be criminally charged for such an abuse while in office.
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
informal have the law on


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.



Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpiːtʃəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Of course I am not speaking of contracts induced by fraud, duress, or undue influence, or impeachable on any other recognized ground of invalidity.
  • Justices, who operate in secret, and who are unaccountable to anyone so long as they do not commit an impeachable offense, have never struck me as good judges of matters relating to secrecy.
  • ‘Lying to a grand jury is an impeachable offense’ was his exact quote.


Example sentences
  • William Rufus built the great hall and first held court in it in 1099: it was reroofed by Richard II and for centuries was the home of the law courts, the place of impeachments and state trials, and the venue for the coronation banquet.
  • This inhibition is to a large extent based on the Bill of Rights and the consequent bar to the impeachment of proceedings in Parliament.
  • He also served as a special investigative counsel for the impeachment of a federal judge.

Words that rhyme with impeach

beach, beech, beseech, bleach, breach, breech, each, leach, leech, outreach, peach, pleach, preach, reach, screech, speech, teach

Definition of impeach in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...