Impeach means to charge someone with doing something wrong, specifically a high government official, such as the U.S. president, a senator, or a federal judge. Fortunately, very few presidents have had the dishonor of being impeached.

If you impeach a president, you charge him or her with a crime. Congress may vote to impeach a president, but being impeached is only the first step in removing an official from office. Impeach comes from the Latin impedicare, meaning "catch, entangle." To impeach also means to cast doubt on someone's character. In a courtroom, a lawyer could impeach the credibility of a witness in order to discredit whatever that person said.

Definitions of impeach

v bring an accusation against; level a charge against

accuse, criminate, incriminate
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reproach, upbraid
express criticism towards
accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy
return an accusation against someone or engage in mutual accusations; charge in return
charge, file, lodge
file a formal charge against
Type of:
accuse, charge
blame for, make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against

v charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office

“The President was impeached
Type of:
charge, file, lodge
file a formal charge against

v challenge the honesty or veracity of

“the lawyers tried to impeach the credibility of the witnesses”
Type of:
issue a challenge to

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