[ ri-prohch ]
See synonyms for: reproachreproachedreproaching on

verb (used with object)
  1. to find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.

  2. to upbraid.

  1. to be a cause of blame or discredit to.

  1. blame or censure conveyed in disapproval: a term of reproach.

  2. an expression of upbraiding, censure, or reproof.

  1. disgrace, discredit, or blame incurred: to bring reproach on one's family.

  2. a cause or occasion of disgrace or discredit.

  3. the Reproaches. Also called Improperia. Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church. a series of antiphons sung in church on Good Friday, consisting of words addressed by Christ to His people, reminding them of His mercies and of their ingratitude.

  4. an object of scorn or contempt.

Idioms about reproach

  1. beyond / above reproach, not subject to blame or discredit; faultless: She has always been honest and beyond reproach in her business dealings.

Origin of reproach

First recorded in 1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English reproche, from Old French, derivative of reprochier “to reproach,” from unattested Vulgar Latin repropiāre “to bring back near,” equivalent to Latin re- “back, near; again” + Late Latin -propiāre (derivative of Latin prope “near”; see re-, approach); (verb) late Middle English reprochen, from Old French reprochier

synonym study For reproach

1. Reproach, rebuke, scold, reprove imply calling one to account for something done or said. Reproach is censure (often about personal matters, obligations, and the like) given with an attitude of faultfinding and some intention of shaming: to reproach one for neglect. Rebuke suggests sharp or stern reproof given usually formally or officially and approaching reprimand in severity: He rebuked him strongly for laxness in his accounts. Scold suggests that censure is given at some length, harshly, and more or less abusively; it implies irritation, which may be with or without justification: to scold a boy for jaywalking. A word of related meaning, but suggesting a milder or more kindly censure, often intended to correct the fault in question, is reprove : to reprove one for inattention.

word story For reproach

In English the noun reproach is a derivative of the verb. The Middle English verb reprochen, “to rebuke, reprove, censure,” comes from Middle French and Old French reprochier “to recall something unpleasant to someone, blame.” Reprochier comes from unattested Vulgar Latin repropiāre “to bring close to, get in someone’s face, upbraid, reproach.” Repropiāre is modeled on Late Latin appropiāre “to approach” (with no sense of blame or rebuke), itself modeled on the Late Latin verb propiāre “to draw near to, approach.” Propiāre is formed from the adverb and preposition prope “near, nearby, close.”
The phrase above reproach “not able to be blamed, faultless” first appeared in 1674; its variant beyond reproach is first recorded in 1702.

Other words for reproach

Opposites for reproach

Other words from reproach

  • re·proach·a·ble, adjective
  • re·proach·a·ble·ness, noun
  • re·proach·a·bly, adverb
  • re·proach·er, noun
  • re·proach·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·re·proach·a·ble, adjective
  • un·re·proach·a·ble·ness, noun
  • un·re·proach·a·bly, adverb
  • un·re·proached, adjective
  • un·re·proach·ing, adjective

Words Nearby reproach Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use reproach in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reproach


/ (rɪˈprəʊtʃ) /

  1. to impute blame to (a person) for an action or fault; rebuke

  2. archaic to bring disgrace or shame upon

  1. the act of reproaching

  2. rebuke or censure; reproof: words of reproach

  1. disgrace or shame: to bring reproach upon one's family

  2. something that causes or merits blame, rebuke, or disgrace

  3. above reproach or beyond reproach perfect; beyond criticism

Origin of reproach

C15: from Old French reprochier, from Latin re- + prope near

Derived forms of reproach

  • reproachable, adjective
  • reproachableness, noun
  • reproachably, adverb
  • reproacher, noun

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