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impeach (verb) make a formal charge (complaint) against a public figure in a court of law.

When a public figure, that is, a person holding a high position like the Governor of a state, or the President of a country, is charged formally with any crime, they are impeached. To accuse a public figure of a crime in a court of law is to impeach them.

  • Only a court of law or an official body like a legislature (for example, the Congress in the US) can impeach high executives like the president or the secretary of state.
  • Lord Clive, founder of the British Empire in India, was impeached in the British Parliament for having accepted a large quantity of gold as a bribe from one of the native princes for helping him to the throne.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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