9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[im-pyoon] /ɪmˈpyun/
verb (used with object)
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
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 forms
impugnable, adjective
impugnability, noun
impugner, noun
impugnment, noun
unimpugnable, adjective
unimpugned, adjective
Can be confused
impugn, impute.
1. attack, asperse, malign, criticize, censure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impugned
  • The trustees' motives were also impugned, if not in print then in a hundred faculty lounges.
  • Everything about me was impugned, from my novelistic talents to my sense of humor to my sense of taste to my sanity.
  • Indeed, had it come from anyone else he would have felt his manhood to be impugned and would have taken appropriate steps.
  • The motivations and intentions of participants will not be impugned.
  • If impugned, they cannot stand unless characterized by the utmost good faith and candor.
  • The integrity of the court would be impugned thereby.
  • Statement by a member that his or her character or purposes have been impugned and his or her repudiation of the alleged charges.
  • First, he impugned his own integrity by knowingly and willingly falsifying his educational qualifications.
  • Nowhere in the record is it revealed that they impugned the trial court's dignity or that court's dignity needed vindicating.
British Dictionary definitions for impugned


(transitive) to challenge or attack as false; assail; criticize
Derived Forms
impugnable, adjective
impugnation (ˌɪmpʌɡˈneɪʃən), impugnment, noun
impugner, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for impugned



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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