Word of the Day Archive
Friday March 3, 2000
impugn \im-PYOON\ , transitive verb:
To attack by words or arguments; to call in question; to make insinuations against; to oppose or challenge as false; to gainsay.
As might be expected of fanatical flag idolaters, the GAR did not accept refusals lightly, and in one instance in Illinois impugned the patriotic loyalty of recalcitrant local school administrators by spreading rumors that one of them was a foreign alien yet to be naturalized and the other a draft dodger who evaded Civil War service by fleeing to Canada.
-- Albert Boime, The Unveiling of the National Icons
After hearing that her brother had been impugned by his political rivals, she also wrote a verse defense of his honor, entitled "Lines on reading an attack upon the political career of the late Albert Baker Esqr."
-- Caroline Fraser, God's Perfect Child
Even though it is nowhere alleged that disclosures of sinful activity by priests impugn the integrity of the entire ministry, that nevertheless is the passing legacy of the current scandals.
-- William F. Buckley Jr., "The House of Disillusion", National Review, May 14, 2002
Impugn comes from Latin impugnare, "to assail," from in-, "against" + pugnare, "to fight."