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verb (used with object), cas·ti·gat·ed, cas·ti·gat·ing.
  1. to criticize or reprimand severely.
  2. to punish in order to correct.
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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


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

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Examples from the Web for castigation

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for castigation


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

Word Origin

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).

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper