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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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for castigation

retribution, discipline, scolding, chastisement, penalty, reproof

Examples from the Web for castigation

Historical Examples of castigation

British Dictionary definitions for castigation


  1. (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 castigation

late 14c., castigacioun, from Latin castigationem (nominative castigatio) "a correcting, reproof, chastizing," noun of action from past participle stem of castigare (see 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