• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to inflict suffering upon for purposes of moral improvement; chastise.
  2. to restrain; subdue: Age has chastened his violent temper.
  3. to make chaste in style.
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Origin of chasten

1520–30; chaste + -en1; replacing chaste (v.), Middle English chastien < Old French chastier < Latin castigāre; see castigate
Related formschas·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. 2018

Related Words

penalize, rebuke, subdue, soften, curb, castigate, repress, reprove, abase, discipline, afflict, reprehend, scold, chide, tame, restrain, punish, objurgate, admonish, upbraid

Examples from the Web for chastening

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I should rejoice to see her passing through a discipline so chastening and exalting.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • So much for my first move toward the chastening of my clients.

    The Plum Tree

    David Graham Phillips

  • Yet tears had ever a chastening effect upon the third of the Madigans.

    The Madigans

    Miriam Michelson

  • But God does not send the chastening in wrath, nor in justice.

    God's Plan with Men

    T. T. (Thomas Theodore) Martin

  • The Indian submits with resignation to the chastening will of the Great Spirit.

British Dictionary definitions for chastening


verb (tr)
  1. to bring to a state of submission; subdue; tame
  2. to discipline or correct by punishment
  3. to moderate; restrain; temper
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Derived Formschastener, nounchasteningly, adverb

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for chastening



1520s, with -en (1) + the word it replaced, obsolete verb chaste "to correct (someone's) behavior" (Middle English chastien, c.1200), from Old French chastiier "to punish" (see chastise). Related: Chastened; chastening.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper