- to fasten, stick, or fix upon a sharpened stake or the like.
- to pierce with a sharpened stake thrust up through the body, as for torture or punishment.
- to fix upon, or pierce through with, anything pointed.
- to make helpless as if pierced through.
- Archaic. to enclose with or as if with pales or stakes; fence in; hem in.
- to marshal (two coats of arms, as the family arms of a husband and wife) on an escutcheon party per pale.
- (of a coat of arms) to be combined with (another coat of arms) in this way.
Origin of impale
Examples from the Web for impalement
Since the marriage of Alroy, there had never been such a merry morn as the day of his impalement.Alroy
And he gave orders that he should be put to death by impalement next morning.The Kath Sarit Sgara
Chiefest of all, the impalement of the old Raimondi on Marta's knife.A Likely Story
William De Morgan
But impalement as we now know it was preceded by dimidiation.A Complete Guide to Heraldry
Arthur Charles Fox-Davies
Some are said to have survived their impalement as much as forty-eight hours.Herzegovina
- (often foll by on, upon, or with) to pierce with a sharp instrumentthey impaled his severed head on a spear
- archaic to enclose with pales or fencing; fence in
- heraldry to charge (a shield) with two coats of arms placed side by side
Word Origin and History for impalement
1590s, from French empalement, from empaler (see impale).
1520s, "to enclose with stakes, fence in," from Middle French empaler and directly from Medieval Latin impalare "to push onto a stake," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + Latin palus "a stake, prop, stay; wooden post, pole," from PIE *pak-slo-, from root *pag-/*pak- "to fasten" (see pact). Sense of "pierce with a pointed stake" (as torture or punishment) first recorded 1610s. Related: Impaled; impaling.