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  1. the act or words of a person who upbraids; severe reproof or censure: an upbraiding from one's superiors.
  1. severely reproachful or reproving; censorious: upbraiding remarks.

Origin of upbraiding

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at upbraid, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsup·braid·ing·ly, adverbself-up·braid·ing, nounun·up·braid·ing, adjectiveun·up·braid·ing·ly, adverb


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


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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 upbraiding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Never never had he forgotten his father's sorrowful and upbraiding look.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • I was streaming with perspiration and upbraiding him for assaulting a cripple.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • I hear your upbraiding voice, 'Pooh, man, catch her up and kiss her!'

    The King's Mirror

    Anthony Hope

  • The bear, far from upbraiding him for driving it from its home, had pity, and no fear at all.

    The Eyes of the Woods

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Elkan received his senior partner's upbraiding with a patient smile.

British Dictionary definitions for upbraiding


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 upbraiding



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