impeach
im·peach /im-'pēch/ vt [Anglo-French empecher, from Old French empeechier to hinder, from Late Latin impedicare to fetter, from Latin in- + pedica fetter, from ped- pes foot]
1: to charge with a crime or misconduct; specif: to charge (a public official) before a competent tribunal (as the U.S. Senate) with misconduct in office see also article i and article ii of the constitution in the back matter
◇ Impeachment is the first step in removing an officer from office. The president, vice president, and other federal officers (as judges) may be impeached by the House of Representatives. (Members of Congress themselves are not removed by being impeached and tried, but rather are expelled by a two-thirds majority vote in the member's house.) The House draws up articles of impeachment that itemize the charges and their factual bases. The articles of impeachment, once approved by a simple majority of the House members, are then submitted to the Senate, thereby impeaching the officer. The Senate then holds a trial, at the conclusion of which each member votes for or against conviction on each article of impeachment. Two-thirds of the Senate members present must vote in favor of conviction. Once convicted, the officer can be removed from office. Although the Constitution specifies that an officer is to be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, impeachment can also occur for misconduct that is not necessarily criminal (as violation of the Constitution). Because impeachment is the first step taken to remove an officer from office impeach is often used in general contexts to refer to the removal itself, but that is not its specific legal meaning. An officer generally cannot be impeached for acts done prior to taking office.
2: to cast doubt on: as
a: to attack the validity of (a judgment or verdict) because of judicial or juror misconduct
b: to challenge the credibility of (a witness) or the validity of (a witness's testimony)
a witness, including a criminal defendant who testifies in his own behalf, may be impeach ed on the ground of former conviction — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr. see also impeachment evidence at evidence compare rehabilitate
◇ A witness may be impeached by character evidence or circumstantial evidence relating to the credibility of the witness, and esp. on the grounds of prior convictions, prior inconsistent statements, contradiction by other evidence, and the witness's reputation for truth, prior acts of misconduct, and partiality.
im·peach·able adj
im·peach·ment n

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

impeach
I verb accusare, accuse, accuse of maladministration, accuse of misconduct, admonish, animadvert, attack, attaint, blame, bring a charge, bring charges, bring into discredit, bring to account, bring to justice, bring up for investigation, call in question, call to account, cast an imputation upon, cast blame upon, castigate, censure, challenge, challenge the credibility of, charge, charge to, charge with, complain against, condemn, confute, criticize, declaim against, decry, denigrate, denounce, denunciate, disapprove, discredit, disparage, dispute, expose, fault, file a claim, find an indictment against, hold at fault, implicate, impugn, impute fault to, inculpate, incur blame, indict, indict for maladministration, prefer a claim, prefer charges, put on trial, put the blame on, rebuff, recriminate, reprimand, reproach, reprove, ridicule, take to account, upbraid, vituperate associated concepts: impeach a government official, impeach a witness II index accuse, blame, cite (accuse), condemn (blame), defame, denounce (inform against), depose (remove), disapprove (condemn), discharge (dismiss), except (object), fault, impugn, inform (betray), remove (dismiss from office), reprehend, reprimand, sully

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


impeach
v.
To accuse a public official of misconduct; to question the validity of something, such as a judgment, or the integrity of a witness.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


impeach
1) To discredit, for example, to show that a witness is not believable — perhaps because the witness made statements that are inconsistent with present testimony, or has a reputation for not being a truthful person.
2) The process of charging a public official, such as the U.S. president or a federal judge, with a crime or misconduct, which results in a trial by the senate to determine whether the official should be removed from office.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


impeach
To accuse; to charge a liability upon; to sue. To dispute, disparage, deny, or contradict; as in to impeach a judgment or decree, or impeach a witness; or as used in the rule that a jury cannot impeach its verdict. To proceed against a public officer for crime or misfeasance, before a proper court, by the presentation of a written accusation called articles of impeachment.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


impeach
To accuse; to charge a liability upon; to sue. To dispute, disparage, deny, or contradict; as in to impeach a judgment or decree, or impeach a witness; or as used in the rule that a jury cannot impeach its verdict. To proceed against a public officer for crime or misfeasance, before a proper court, by the presentation of a written accusation called articles of impeachment.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

impeach
v.
   1) to discredit the testimony of a witness by proving that he/she has not told the truth or has been inconsistent, by introducing contrary evidence, including statements made outside of the courtroom in depositions or in statements of the witness heard by another.
   2) to charge a public official with a public crime for which the punishment is removal from office. One President, Andrew Johnson in 1868, was charged with violation of federal laws in a politically motivated impeachment, but was acquitted by the margin of one vote in a trial held by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 rather than face impending impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives in the Watergate affair, in which he was accused of obstructing the investigation and lying to Congress about his participation. Several federal judges have been impeached and nine have been found guilty by the Senate.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Impeach — Im*peach , n. Hindrance; impeachment. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impeach — UK US /ɪmˈpiːtʃ/ verb [T] LAW, GOVERNMENT ► especially in the US, to formally accuse a public official of a serious offence in connection with their job: »He was suspended and later impeached amid a $60 million financial scandal. impeachable… …   Financial and business terms

  • impeach — (v.) late 14c., to impede, hinder, prevent, from Anglo Fr. empecher, O.Fr. empeechier hinder (12c., Mod.Fr. empêcher), from L.L. impedicare to fetter, catch, entangle, from from assimilated form of in into, in (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + L. pedica… …   Etymology dictionary

  • impeach — indict, incriminate, *accuse, charge, arraign Analogous words: condemn, denounce, blame, censure (see CRITICIZE): try, test, *prove Contrasted words: *exculpate, vindicate, exonerate, acquit, absolve …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • impeach — in BrE means ‘to charge with a crime against the State, especially treason’, and in AmE means ‘to charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct’. It does not mean ‘to dismiss from office’ in either variety …   Modern English usage

  • impeach — [v] denounce, censure accuse, arraign, blame, bring charges against, call into question, call to account, cast aspersions on, cast doubt on, challenge, charge, criminate, criticize, discredit, disparage, hold at fault, impugn, incriminate,… …   New thesaurus

  • impeach — ► VERB 1) call into question the integrity or validity of (a practice). 2) Brit. charge with treason or another crime against the state. 3) chiefly US charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct. DERIVATIVES impeachable adjective… …   English terms dictionary

  • impeach — [im pēch′] vt. [ME empechen < OFr empechier, to hinder < LL impedicare, to fetter, entangle < L in , in + pedica, a fetter < pes, FOOT] 1. to challenge or discredit (a person s honor, reputation, etc.) 2. to challenge the practices or …   English World dictionary

  • impeach — v. (D; tr.) to impeach for (to impeach smb. for taking bribes) * * * [ɪm piːtʃ] (D; tr.) to impeach for (to impeach smb. for taking bribes) …   Combinatory dictionary

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