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.

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

Synonyms for chasten

Antonyms for chasten Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chastening

Contemporary Examples of chastening

  • How chastening it is for America—and how disconcerting—to be cut down to size, yet again, by the Chinese.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The End of Really Big

    Tunku Varadarajan

    February 24, 2010

  • Then, too, opposition tends to focus the marginalized mind, undistracted as it is by the chastening realities of power.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Killed the Neocons?

    Lee Siegel

    February 13, 2009

Historical Examples of chastening

  • 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)

to bring to a state of submission; subdue; tame
to discipline or correct by punishment
to moderate; restrain; temper
Derived Formschastener, 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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper