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[ri-byook] /rɪˈbyuk/
verb (used with object), rebuked, rebuking.
to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand.
sharp, stern disapproval; reproof; reprimand.
Origin of rebuke
1275-1325; Middle English rebuken (v.) < Anglo-French rebuker (Old French rebuchier) to beat back, equivalent to re- re- + bucher to beat, strike < Germanic
Related forms
rebukable, adjective
rebuker, noun
rebukingly, adverb
unrebukable, adjective
unrebuked, adjective
1. censure, upbraid, chide, admonish. See reproach. 2. reproach, remonstration, censure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rebuke
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, he bethought himself of a subtle form of rebuke by emphasizing his generosity.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • They darted from Garson to the other three men, and back again in rebuke.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Aggie sniffed vehemently in rebuke of the gross partiality of fate in his behalf.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

  • Times before had he said them before Phoebe Hart, and she had passed them by with no rebuke.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for rebuke


(transitive) to scold or reprimand (someone)
a reprimand or scolding
Derived Forms
rebukable, adjective
rebuker, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norman French rebuker, from re- + Old French buchier to hack down, from busche log, of Germanic origin
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 rebuke

early 14c., "to reprimand, reprove; chide, scold," from Anglo-French rebuker "to repel, beat back," Old French rebuchier, from re- "back" (see re-) + buschier "to strike, chop wood," from busche (French bûche) "wood," from Proto-Germanic *busk- (see bush (n.)). Related: Rebuked; rebuking.


early 15c., "a reproof, reprimand," from rebuke (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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