[ chey-suhn ]
/ ˈtʃeɪ sən /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: chasten / chastened / chastening on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to inflict suffering upon for purposes of moral improvement; chastise.
to restrain; subdue: Age has chastened his violent temper.
to make chaste in style.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of chasten

1520–30; chaste + -en1; replacing chaste (v.), Middle English chastien<Old French chastier<Latin castigāre;see castigate


chas·ten·er, nounchas·ten·ing·ly, adverbchas·ten·ment, nounun·chas·tened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does chasten mean?

To chasten is to discipline, punish, or severely criticize, especially with the intention of improving someone’s behavior.

Chasten has many shades of meaning that are all somewhat similar. It can mean to tame or subdue, or to moderate or restrain someone’s behavior. In all cases, it typically involves some form of discipline or negative consequences for the person being chastened.

Chasten is a relatively formal word, and so are its close synonyms (like chastise, castigate, and reprimand), but it’s probably used less commonly than they are.

It’s often associated with Christian or other religious language due to its use in some translations of the Bible.

Example: My grandfather grew up in a boarding school, where he was chastened for even the most minor infractions.

Where does chasten come from?

The first records of chasten come from the 1520s. It comes from the French chastier, ultimately from the Latin castigāre, meaning “correct” or “punish,” or, more literally, “to drive to faultlessness” or “to compel to be pure.” The synonyms chastise and castigate also come from the same root.

The word chastise especially refers to corporal punishment, meaning physical violence used as punishment. No doubt, the word chasten has also been used to refer to such punishment throughout its history, and the word still implies some amount of suffering from the discipline being used. However, as the word is used today, that discipline typically refers to things like harsh scolding or other nonphysical punishments intended to get the recipient to stop behavior considered immoral or otherwise bad, as in My mother chastens me for my temper by making me think about what I do whenever I lose it. A temper itself can be chastened, or moderated. Similarly, chasten can also mean “to restrain or subdue,” as in Maturity has chastened my hastiness.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to chasten?

  • chastener (noun)
  • chasteningly (adverb)
  • chastenment (noun)
  • unchastened (adjective)

What are some synonyms for chasten?

What are some words that share a root or word element with chasten






What are some words that often get used in discussing chasten?

How is chasten used in real life?

Chasten is a formal word that’s less commonly used than some of its synonyms, like chastise and reprimand. It’s sometimes used in religious contexts, especially in Bible verses.

Try using chasten!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of chasten

A. rebuke
B. upbraid
C. scold
D. praise

How to use chasten in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chasten

/ (ˈtʃeɪsən) /

verb (tr)
to bring to a state of submission; subdue; tame
to discipline or correct by punishment
to moderate; restrain; temper

Derived forms of chasten

chastener, nounchasteningly, adverb

Word Origin for chasten

C16: from Old French chastier, from Latin castigāre; see castigate
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