[noun rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd; verb rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd, rep-ruh-mand, -mahnd]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to reprove or rebuke severely, especially in a formal way.

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

Synonyms for reprimand

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

Examples from the Web for reprimands

Contemporary Examples of reprimands

Historical Examples of reprimands

  • He was careless of his duty, and equally careless to the reprimands that followed.

  • His brothers incur all kinds of reprimands, and under them he also suffers much.

    The Son of a Servant

    August Strindberg

  • She had so little time to devote to him, that it seemed cruel to spend it in reprimands.

    File No. 113

    Emile Gaboriau

  • Her exhortations were delicious, her reprimands exquisite, her patience was infinite.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett

  • Reprimands are not very heavy to bear; would to heaven I were free at that price!

    The Impostures of Scapin

    (Poquelin) Moliere

British Dictionary definitions for reprimands


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

Word Origin for reprimand

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 reprimands



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."



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper