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.
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.