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impeachable

[ im-pee-chuh-buhl ]
/ ɪmˈpi tʃə bəl /
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adjective

making one subject to impeachment, as misconduct in office.
liable to be impeached.

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Origin of impeachable

First recorded in 1495–1505; impeach + -able

OTHER WORDS FROM impeachable

im·peach·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·im·peach·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·im·peach·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does impeachable mean?

Impeachable is used to describe an offense that could get a public official impeached—formally accused of misconduct.

The act or process of or the state of being impeached in this way is called impeachment. In the U.S., impeach and its related words are closely associated with the act of officially bringing charges of misconduct against a sitting president (though other federal officials can be impeached). Describing an offense as impeachable means it could result in impeachment.

The U.S. Constitution cites treason and bribery as impeachable offenses, along with other “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Impeachable can also be used in this context to describe a person who could be impeached. For example, presidents and some other federal officials are impeachable according to the law. Sometimes, the word is used to indicate that a person did something that could get them impeached, as in These offenses absolutely make the president impeachable. 

In a more general legal context, to impeach a witness means to question their credibility. The word impeach can also be used in a more general way meaning to call into question or challenge. Impeachable can be used in this sense, but the opposite, unimpeachable, is much more common. It’s used to describe things that cannot be questioned or are impossible to discredit because there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, as in His record is unimpeachable, so his opponents have resorted to inventing scandals. 

Example: There is no doubt that accepting a bribe from a foreign official is an impeachable offense.

Where does impeachable come from?

The first records of the word impeachable come from right around 1500. Its base word, impeach, comes from the Middle English empechen or enpeshen, from the Late Latin verb impedicāre, meaning “to trap” or “to entangle.” The Latin term pedic(a) at the root of the word means “a fetter” (a shackle for the foot) and comes from the Latin pēs, which means “foot” and is the root of many foot-related words, such as pedicure and pedestrian. The suffix -able is used to form adjectives and makes the word mean “able to be impeached.”

In U.S. history, impeachment is relatively rare, with only a handful of officials ever having been impeached, including just three presidents. Due to the nonspecific language in the Constitution, a wide range of offenses can be considered impeachable.

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What are some other forms related to impeachable?

  • impeachability (noun)
  • nonimpeachable (adjective)
  • impeach (verb)

What are some synonyms for impeachable?

What are some words that share a root or word element with impeachable

What are some words that often get used in discussing impeachable?

How is impeachable used in real life?

In the U.S., the words impeach, impeachment, and impeachable are closely associated with their use in the context of government and politics, especially in cases involving the president.

 

 

Try using impeachable!

True or False?

Committing an impeachable offense always results in being removed from office.

Example sentences from the Web for impeachable

British Dictionary definitions for impeachable

impeachable
/ (ɪmˈpiːtʃəbəl) /

adjective

capable of being impeached or accused
(of an offence) making a person liable to impeachment

Derived forms of impeachable

impeachability, noun
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
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