op·​pugn | \ ə-ˈpyün How to pronounce oppugn (audio) , ä- \
oppugned; oppugning; oppugns

Definition of oppugn

transitive verb

1 : to fight against
2 : to call into question

Other Words from oppugn

oppugner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for oppugn



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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").

Examples of oppugn in a Sentence

had the temerity to oppugn the merits of a study in a discipline that he knows nothing about guardians of liberty who staunchly oppugned tyranny, whether from the right or the left

First Known Use of oppugn

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oppugn

Middle English oppugnen, opugnen "to attack, repudiate," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French oppugner "to attack, assault, attack the truth of," borrowed from Latin oppugnāre "to attack, assault, oppose in speech or action," from ob- ob- + pugnāre "to fight" — more at pungent

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The first known use of oppugn was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Oppugn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppugn. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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