im·​pale | \ im-ˈpāl How to pronounce impale (audio) \
impaled; impaling

Definition of impale

transitive verb

1 : to join (coats of arms) on a heraldic shield divided vertically by a pale
2a : to pierce with or as if with something pointed especially : to torture or kill by fixing on a sharp stake
b : to fix in an inescapable or helpless position

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Other Words from impale

impalement \ im-​ˈpāl-​mənt How to pronounce impalement (audio) \ noun
impaler \ im-​ˈpā-​lər How to pronounce impaler (audio) \ noun

Examples of impale in a Sentence

impale a marshmallow or two on that stick and let's start toasting

Recent Examples on the Web

The full-size version meanwhile proceeded to Dublin amid reports that the larger balloon had been impaled. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "The Story Behind the Baby Trump Balloon," 8 June 2019 The most iconic image from Braveheart includes his impaling the ground with it after a victory. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 According to Erskine May and other parliamentary protocols, lawmakers carrying swords must deposit them before entering the debating chamber to prevent them from impaling one another’s garments. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Rule Book from 1844 Becomes a Must-Read in Brexit Debate," 3 Jan. 2019 Last week, a woman was impaled by a beach umbrella on the New Jersey shore. Fox News, "Woman in Maryland impaled in chest by beach umbrella," 23 July 2018 This novel builds, subtly, to a moment that allows Andrei a career victory that may enable Putin’s regime to impale those Andrei loves most like moths on pins. New York Times, "Struggling to Love, Work and Do the Right Thing in Putin’s Russia," 9 July 2018 In a protocol-defying step President Trump hinted at the good report in a morning tweet. (June 1) AP Will rising long-term interest rates impale your future? Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Investors: Why you shouldn't worry that rates will rise," 10 June 2018 Taraque had suffered a massive car accident on April 28 in which a 3.5 ft long iron rod of the roadside divider impaled his forehead leaving him profusely bleeding. Fox News, "Car accident victim survives having head impaled by metal rod," 1 June 2018 In this case, the biggest one comes right at the top: after getting thrown off a horse, impaled by rebar, and cornered by two hordes of zombies, Rick manages to escape! Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead has condemned itself for all time," 5 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impale

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impale

Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French empaler, from Medieval Latin impalare, from Latin in- + palus stake — more at pole

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Statistics for impale

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for impale

The first known use of impale was in 1605

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More Definitions for impale



English Language Learners Definition of impale

: to cause a pointed object to go into or through (someone or something)


im·​pale | \ im-ˈpāl How to pronounce impale (audio) \
impaled; impaling

Kids Definition of impale

: to pierce with something pointed

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More from Merriam-Webster on impale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impale

Spanish Central: Translation of impale

Nglish: Translation of impale for Spanish Speakers

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