Impeach Im*peach", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Impeached}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Impeaching}.] [OE. empeechier to prevent, hinder, bar, F. emp[^e]cher, L. impedicare to entangle; pref. im- in + pedica fetter, fr. pes, pedis, foot. See {Foot}, and {Appeach}, {Dispatch}, {Impede}.] 1. To hinder; to impede; to prevent. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

These ungracious practices of his sons did impeach his journey to the Holy Land. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster]

A defluxion on my throat impeached my utterance. --Howell. [1913 Webster]

2. To charge with a crime or misdemeanor; to accuse; especially to charge (a public officer), before a competent tribunal, with misbehavior in office; to cite before a tribunal for judgment of official misconduct; to arraign; as, to impeach a judge. See {Impeachment}. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence, to charge with impropriety; to dishonor; to bring discredit on; to call in question; as, to impeach one's motives or conduct. [1913 Webster]

And doth impeach the freedom of the state. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. (Law) To challenge or discredit the credibility of, as of a witness, or the validity of, as of commercial paper. [1913 Webster]

Note: When used in law with reference to a witness, the term signifies, to discredit, to show or prove unreliable or unworthy of belief; when used in reference to the credit of witness, the term denotes, to impair, to lessen, to disparage, to destroy. The credit of a witness may be impeached by showing that he has made statements out of court contradictory to what he swears at the trial, or by showing that his reputation for veracity is bad, etc.

Syn: To accuse; arraign; censure; criminate; indict; impair; disparage; discredit. See {Accuse}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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