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[ri-prohch] /rɪˈproʊtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.
to upbraid.
to be a cause of blame or discredit to.
blame or censure conveyed in disapproval:
a term of reproach.
an expression of upbraiding, censure, or reproof.
disgrace, discredit, or blame incurred:
to bring reproach on one's family.
a cause or occasion of disgrace or discredit.
the Reproaches, Also called Improperia. Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church. a series of antiphons sung in church on Good Friday, consisting of words addressed by Christ to His people, reminding them of His mercies and of their ingratitude.
an object of scorn or contempt.
Origin of reproach
late Middle English
1375-1425; (noun) late Middle English reproche < Old French, derivative of reprochier to reproach < Vulgar Latin *repropiāre to bring back near, equivalent to Latin re- re- + Late Latin -propiāre (derivative of Latin prope near; see approach); (v.) late Middle English reprochen < Old French reprochier
Related forms
reproachable, adjective
reproachableness, noun
reproachably, adverb
reproacher, noun
reproachingly, adverb
unreproachable, adjective
unreproachableness, noun
unreproachably, adverb
unreproached, adjective
unreproaching, adjective
1. chide, abuse, reprimand, reprehend, condemn, criticize. Reproach, rebuke, scold, reprove imply calling one to account for something done or said. Reproach is censure (often about personal matters, obligations, and the like) given with an attitude of faultfinding and some intention of shaming: to reproach one for neglect. Rebuke suggests sharp or stern reproof given usually formally or officially and approaching reprimand in severity: He rebuked him strongly for laxness in his accounts. Scold suggests that censure is given at some length, harshly, and more or less abusively; it implies irritation, which may be with or without justification: to scold a boy for jaywalking. A word of related meaning, but suggesting a milder or more kindly censure, often intended to correct the fault in question, is reprove : to reprove one for inattention. 3. shame. 4, 5. reprehension, rebuke, criticism, remonstrance, condemnation, disapproval. 6. dishonor, shame, disrepute, odium, obloquy, opprobrium, ignominy, infamy, scorn.
1, 4, 5. praise. 6. honor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reproach
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Architecture also, with few exceptions, has long been our reproach.

  • But this only subjected me to reproach, as having a prepossession in his favour which I would not own.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The father looked at Mary with a reproach that was pathetic.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Before that grieved organ-tone of reproach, Kitty's eyes filled.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Tell me that you submit to my arguments, and do not reproach me for using such.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • He decided, for his own peace of mind, that he had nothing with which to reproach himself.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • But I will not reproach the dead; her punishment came all too swiftly.

  • Would that the conduct of England had been at this time free from reproach!

British Dictionary definitions for reproach


verb (transitive)
to impute blame to (a person) for an action or fault; rebuke
(archaic) to bring disgrace or shame upon
the act of reproaching
rebuke or censure; reproof: words of reproach
disgrace or shame: to bring reproach upon one's family
something that causes or merits blame, rebuke, or disgrace
above reproach, beyond reproach, perfect; beyond criticism
Derived Forms
reproachable, adjective
reproachableness, noun
reproachably, adverb
reproacher, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French reprochier, from Latin re- + prope near
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 reproach

mid-14c., "a rebuke, blame, censure;" also "object of scorn or contempt;" c.1400, as "disgrace, state of disgrace," from Old French reproche "blame, shame, disgrace" (12c.), from reprochier "to blame, bring up against," said by some French etymologists to be from Vulgar Latin *repropiare, from Latin re- "opposite of" + prope "near" (see propinquity), with suggestions of "bring near to" as in modern "get in (someone's) face." But others would have it from *reprobicare, from Latin reprobus/reprobare (see reprobate (adj.)).


mid-14c., reprochen "to rebuke, reproach," from Anglo-French repruchier, Old French reprochier "upbraid, blame, accuse, speak ill of," from reproche (see reproach (n.)). Related: Reproached; reproaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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