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verb (used with object)
  1. to find fault with or reproach severely; censure: The military tribunal upbraided the soldier for his cowardice.
  2. (of things) to bring reproach on; serve as a reproach to.
verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to utter reproaches.

Origin of upbraid

before 1000; Middle English; Old English upbrēdan to adduce as a fault. See up-, braid
Related formsup·braid·er, nounun·up·braid·ed, adjective


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1. reprove, blame.

Synonym study

1. See reprimand.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for upbraid

Historical Examples

  • The stranger at once began to upbraid Powell for being impolite.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Upbraid me with the loss of all of which you have bereft me.

  • But conscience has not to upbraid me with any of these things.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • At this, the Leaflanders only paused long enough to upbraid the young woman.

  • None confers a benefit so gladly, none is so slow to upbraid.

British Dictionary definitions for upbraid


verb (tr)
  1. to reprove or reproach angrily
  2. to find fault with
Derived Formsupbraider, nounupbraiding, nounupbraidingly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English upbregdan; related to Danish bebreide; see up, braid
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

Word Origin and History for upbraid


Old English upbregdan "bring forth as a ground for censure," from up "up" + bregdan "move quickly, intertwine" (see braid (v.)). Cf. Middle Swedish upbrygdha. Meaning "scold" is first attested late 13c. Related: Upbraided; upbraiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper