Etymology
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impale (v.)

1520s, "to enclose with stakes, fence in" (a sense continued in specialized uses into 19c.), from French empaler or directly from Medieval Latin impalare "to push onto a stake," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + Latin palus "a stake, prop, stay; wooden post, pole" (from PIE *pak-slo-, from root *pag- "to fasten"). Sense of "pierce with a pointed stake" (as torture or capital punishment) first recorded 1610s. Related: Impaled; impaling.

updated on December 08, 2020

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Definitions of impale from WordNet

impale (v.)
pierce with a sharp stake or point;
impale a shrimp on a skewer
Synonyms: transfix / empale / spike
impale (v.)
kill by piercing with a spear or sharp pole;
the enemies were impaled and left to die
Synonyms: stake
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.