verb (used with object), cas·ti·gat·ed, cas·ti·gat·ing.

to criticize or reprimand severely.
to punish in order to correct.

Origin of castigate

1600–10; < Latin castīgātus literally, driven to be faultless (past participle of castigāre to chasten), equivalent to cast(us) pure, chaste + -īg-, combining form of agere to drive, incite + -ātus -ate1
Related formscas·ti·ga·tion, nouncas·ti·ga·tive, cas·ti·ga·to·ry [kas-ti-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈkæs tɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivecas·ti·ga·tor, nounnon·cas·ti·gat·ing, adjectivenon·cas·ti·ga·tion, nounself-cas·ti·gat·ing, adjectiveself-cas·ti·ga·tion, nounun·cas·ti·gat·ed, adjectiveun·cas·ti·ga·tive, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for castigate

Contemporary Examples of castigate

Historical Examples of castigate

  • The woman grasped a clothes-stick with which she proposed to castigate her niece.

    Ruth Fielding Down East

    Alice B. Emerson

  • If only I were not a woman, I might castigate you as you deserve!

  • Others tried to use the disasters to castigate the sins of society.

    Medieval People

    Eileen Edna Power

  • I had to castigate one of the ringleaders myself—Herapath by name, claiming kinship with you, by the way.

    The Master of the Shell

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Its declared purpose was "simply to instruct the young, reform the old, correct the town, and castigate the age."

    Washington Irving

    Charles Dudley Warner

British Dictionary definitions for castigate



(tr) to rebuke or criticize in a severe manner; chastise
Derived Formscastigation, nouncastigator, nouncastigatory, adjective

Word Origin for castigate

C17: from Latin castīgāre to correct, punish, from castum pure + agere to compel (to be)
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 castigate

c.1600, from Latin castigatus, past participle of castigare "to correct, set right; purify; chastise, punish," from castus "pure" (see caste) + agere "to do" (see act (n.)). The notion behind the word is "make someone pure by correcting or reproving him."

If thou didst put this soure cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well. [Shakespeare, "Timon" IV.iii (1607)]

Related: Castigated; castigating; castigator; castigatory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper