• synonyms


[noun rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd; verb rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd, rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd]
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  1. a severe reproof or rebuke, especially a formal one by a person in authority.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to reprove or rebuke severely, especially in a formal way.
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Origin of reprimand

1630–40; < French réprimande, Middle French reprimend < Latin reprimenda that is to be repressed (feminine gerund of reprimere), equivalent to re- re- + prim(ere) to press1 + -enda, feminine gerund suffix
Related formsrep·ri·mand·er, nounrep·ri·mand·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·rep·ri·mand, verb (used with object)un·rep·ri·mand·ed, adjectiveun·rep·ri·mand·ing, adjective


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Synonym study

2. Reprimand, upbraid, admonish, censure all mean to reprove, reproach, or criticize (someone) adversely for behavior deemed reprehensible. Reprimand implies a formal rebuke, as by a superior, person in authority, or an official or official body: reprimanded by the judge and warned of a possible charge of contempt of court. Upbraid suggests relatively severe criticism, but of a less formal sort: The minister upbraided the parishioners for their poor church attendance. Admonish refers to a more gentle warning or expression of disapproval, often including suggestions for improvement: gently admonished the children to make less noise; admonished the players about promptness at practice sessions. Censure involves harsh, vehement criticism, often from an authoritative source: censured in the media for her off-the-cuff remarks; voted to censure their fellow senator.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

criticize, rebuke, denounce, censure, admonish, upbraid, chide, castigate, reproach, reprehend, rap, lecture, lesson, reprove, check, monish

Examples from the Web for reprimanding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He might, or might not, have been pleased had he heard the reprimanding of Furneaux.

  • His new manner showed that his eyes had been reprimanding his tongue.

  • He had been reprimanded by the Presbytery, till the Presbytery were tired of reprimanding.


    Mrs. Oliphant

  • After reprimanding him for his cowardice, he went with him on board the ship.

    Ecce Homo!

    Paul Henry Thiry Baron d' Holbach

  • She was contented with reprimanding him severely, and ordering him from her presence.

British Dictionary definitions for reprimanding


  1. a reproof or formal admonition; rebuke
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  1. (tr) to admonish or rebuke, esp formally; reprove
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Word Origin

C17: from French réprimande, from Latin reprimenda (things) to be repressed; see repress
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 reprimanding



1630s, from French réprimande (16c.), from Middle French reprimende "reproof," from Latin reprimenda "that is to be repressed" (as in reprimenda culpa "fault to be checked"), fem. singular of reprimendus, gerundive of reprimere "reprove" (see repress). Spelling influenced in French by mander "to summon."

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1680s, from reprimand (n.) or else from French réprimander (17c.), from réprimande. Related: Reprimanded; reprimanding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper