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[kas-ti-geyt] /ˈkæs tɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), castigated, castigating.
to criticize or reprimand severely.
to punish in order to correct.
Origin of castigate
1600-10; < Latin castīgātus literally, driven to be faultless (past participle of castigāre to chasten), equivalent to cast(us) pure, chaste + -īg-, combining form of agere to drive, incite + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
castigation, noun
castigative, castigatory
[kas-ti-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈkæs tɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
castigator, noun
noncastigating, adjective
noncastigation, noun
self-castigating, adjective
self-castigation, noun
uncastigated, adjective
uncastigative, adjective
1. scold, reprove. 2. discipline, chastise, chasten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for castigate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The woman grasped a clothes-stick with which she proposed to castigate her niece.

    Ruth Fielding Down East

    Alice B. Emerson
  • If only I were not a woman, I might castigate you as you deserve!

  • Others tried to use the disasters to castigate the sins of society.

    Medieval People Eileen Edna Power
  • I had to castigate one of the ringleaders myself—Herapath by name, claiming kinship with you, by the way.

    The Master of the Shell Talbot Baines Reed
  • Its declared purpose was "simply to instruct the young, reform the old, correct the town, and castigate the age."

    Washington Irving Charles Dudley Warner
  • I will whip the woman, I mean the child—no, I mean the dog; in fact, I will castigate all three of them.

  • I thought to castigate a libertine, and I have been, I fear, lacerating the heart of a true gentleman!

    By Birth a Lady George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for castigate


(transitive) to rebuke or criticize in a severe manner; chastise
Derived Forms
castigation, noun
castigator, noun
castigatory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin castīgāre to correct, punish, from castum pure + agere to compel (to be)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for castigate

c.1600, from Latin castigatus, past participle of castigare "to correct, set right; purify; chastise, punish," from castus "pure" (see caste) + agere "to do" (see act (n.)). The notion behind the word is "make someone pure by correcting or reproving him."

If thou didst put this soure cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well. [Shakespeare, "Timon" IV.iii (1607)]
Related: Castigated; castigating; castigator; castigatory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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