Simple Definition of berate
: to yell at (someone) : to criticize (someone) in a loud and angry way
Full Definition of berate
: to scold or condemn vehemently and at length
Examples of berate in a sentence
<there's no need to berate someone for making a mistake during the first day on the job>
Did You Know?
Berate and one sense of the verb "rate" can both mean "to scold angrily or violently." This sense of "rate" was first recorded in the 14th century, roughly a century before the now more familiar sense meaning "to estimate the value of." We know that "berate" was probably formed by combining "be" and the older sense of "rate," but the origins of "rate" itself are somewhat more obscure. We can trace the word back to the Middle English form "raten," but beyond that things get a little murky. It's possible that "rate," and by extension berate, derives from the same ancient word that led to the Swedish "rata" (meaning "to find blame, despise") and earlier the Old Norse "hrata" ("to fall, stagger"), but this is uncertain.
First Known Use of berate
Synonym Discussion of berate
BERATE Defined for Kids
Definition of berate for Students
: to scold in a loud and angry way
Seen and Heard
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