verb (used with object), be·rat·ed, be·rat·ing.

to scold; rebuke: He berated them in public.

Origin of berate

First recorded in 1540–50; be- + rate2

Synonyms for berate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for berate

Contemporary Examples of berate

Historical Examples of berate

  • She had expected him to berate her for taking him for a spy and he had asked her to marry him.

    Rebecca's Promise

    Frances R. Sterrett

  • Dyckman was a spent and bankrupt object, and anybody could berate him.

  • Even now, they had come forth upon the ramparts to berate her with her sin.


    Albert Payson Terhune

  • And then, without waiting for the answer, he turned to the shepherd and began to berate him.

    The Five Arrows

    Allan Chase

  • One way to flatter some women is to berate those whom they despise or fear.

British Dictionary definitions for berate



(tr) to scold harshly
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 berate

1540s, from be- "thoroughly" + Middle English rate "to scold" (late 14c.), from Old French reter "accuse, blame," from Latin reputare (see reputation). "Obsolete except in U.S." [OED 1st ed.], but it seems to have revived in Britain 20c. Related: Berated; berating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper