Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

oppugn

play
verb op·pugn \ə-ˈpyün, ä-\

Definition of oppugn

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to fight against

  3. 2 :  to call in question

oppugner

noun


Examples of oppugn in a sentence

  1. <had the temerity to oppugn the merits of a study in a discipline that he knows nothing about>

  2. <guardians of liberty who staunchly oppugned tyranny, whether from the right or the left>



Did You Know?

Oppugn was first recorded in English in the 15th century. It came to Middle English from the Latin verb oppugnare, which in turn derived from the combination of ob-, meaning "against," and pugnare, meaning "to fight." "Pugnare" itself is descended from the same ancient word that gave Latin the word pugnus, meaning "fist." It's no surprise, then, that "oppugn" was adopted into English to refer to fighting against something or someone, either physically (as in "the dictatorship will oppugn all who oppose it") or verbally (as in "oppugn an argument"). Other descendants of "pugnare" in English include the equally aggressive "pugnacious," "impugn," "repugnant," and the rare "inexpugnable" ("incapable of being subdued or overthrown").

Origin and Etymology of oppugn

Middle English, from Latin oppugnare, from ob- against + pugnare to fight — more at ob-, pungent


First Known Use: 15th century


Learn More about oppugn


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up oppugn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

placate beat defame divulge
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ