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impugn

[im-pyoon]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to challenge as false (another's statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon.
  2. Archaic. to assail (a person) by words or arguments; vilify.
  3. Obsolete. to attack (a person) physically.
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Origin of impugn

1325–75; Middle English impugnen < Middle French impugner < Latin impugnāre to attack, equivalent to im- im-1 + pugnāre to fight, derivative of pugnus fist; see pugnacious
Related formsim·pugn·a·ble, adjectiveim·pugn·a·bil·i·ty, nounim·pugn·er, nounim·pugn·ment, nounun·im·pugn·a·ble, adjectiveun·im·pugned, adjective
Can be confusedimpugn impute

Synonyms for impugn

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for impugned

assail, contravene, tar, knock, deny, blast, traduce, contradict, question, traverse, cross, resist, attack, break, oppose, negative, smear, negate, trash, slam

Examples from the Web for impugned

Contemporary Examples of impugned

Historical Examples of impugned

  • No breath of scandal touched her fair name, or impugned her devotion to Henry.

    Henry VIII.

    A. F. Pollard

  • He had impugned their skill in the hunt, and they were ravenous for him.

    The heart of happy hollow

    Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • There was irritation in his voice, as though Mike had impugned the memory of a friend.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • “And impugned by three gentlemen,” said Bruce, who felt how thoroughly he was in disgrace.

    Julian Home

    Dean Frederic W. Farrar

  • But I can correct it now, and shall do it; for now my motives cannot be impugned.


British Dictionary definitions for impugned

impugn

verb
  1. (tr) to challenge or attack as false; assail; criticize
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Derived Formsimpugnable, adjectiveimpugnation (ˌɪmpʌɡˈneɪʃən) or impugnment, nounimpugner, noun

Word Origin for impugn

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 impugned

impugn

v.

"attack by argument," late 14c., from Old French impugner, from Latin impugnare "to assault, to attack," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pugnare "to fight" (see pugnacious). Related: Impugned; impugning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper