- to challenge as false (another's statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon.
- Archaic. to assail (a person) by words or arguments; vilify.
- Obsolete. to attack (a person) physically.
Origin of impugn
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. attack, asperse, malign, criticize, censure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for impugning
She “was better at impugning our choices…than identifying any feasible alternatives.”Speed Read: The Juiciest Bits From Timothy Geithner’s New Memoir
May 13, 2014
The Malaysian authorities are doing the opposite: impugning the aircrew without any tangible evidence.The Baseless Rush to Blame the Pilots of Flight 370
March 16, 2014
Impugning their patriotism to the target audience is so easy it can hardly even be called work.Michael Tomasky on Romney: the Un-American in the Presidential Race
July 19, 2012
It is more effective than impugning the virtue of his female ancestors.The Voice of the Pack
Mr. Seward was not in the habit of impugning the courage of any man.Presidential Candidates:
D. W. Bartlett
Let me say again that I am not impugning the motives of the men in Wall Street.The New Freedom
It was like impugning their whole policy and arraigning their wisdom.The Personal Life Of David Livingstone
William Garden Blaikie
Liberals can do something better than predicting failure and impugning motives.China, Japan and the U.S.A.
- (tr) to challenge or attack as false; assail; criticize
C14: from Old French impugner, from Latin impugnāre to fight against, attack, from im- + pugnāre to fight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for impugning
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper