1. severely reproachful or reproving; censorious: upbraiding remarks.

Origin of upbraiding

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at upbraid, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsup·braid·ing·ly, adverbself-up·braid·ing, nounun·up·braid·ing, adjectiveun·up·braid·ing·ly, adverb


verb (used with object)
  1. to find fault with or reproach severely; censure: The military tribunal upbraided the soldier for his cowardice.
  2. (of things) to bring reproach on; serve as a reproach to.
verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to utter reproaches.

Origin of upbraid

before 1000; Middle English; Old English upbrēdan to adduce as a fault. See up-, braid
Related formsup·braid·er, nounun·up·braid·ed, adjective

Synonyms for upbraid

Synonym study

1. See reprimand.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for upbraiding

Contemporary Examples of upbraiding

Historical Examples of upbraiding

  • Never never had he forgotten his father's sorrowful and upbraiding look.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • I was streaming with perspiration and upbraiding him for assaulting a cripple.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • I hear your upbraiding voice, 'Pooh, man, catch her up and kiss her!'

    The King's Mirror

    Anthony Hope

  • The bear, far from upbraiding him for driving it from its home, had pity, and no fear at all.

    The Eyes of the Woods

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Elkan received his senior partner's upbraiding with a patient smile.

British Dictionary definitions for upbraiding


verb (tr)
  1. to reprove or reproach angrily
  2. to find fault with
Derived Formsupbraider, nounupbraiding, nounupbraidingly, adverb

Word Origin for upbraid

Old English upbregdan; related to Danish bebreide; see up, braid
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 upbraiding



Old English upbregdan "bring forth as a ground for censure," from up "up" + bregdan "move quickly, intertwine" (see braid (v.)). Cf. Middle Swedish upbrygdha. Meaning "scold" is first attested late 13c. Related: Upbraided; upbraiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper