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noun re·proach \ri-ˈprōch\

Definition of reproach

  1. 1 :  an expression of rebuke or disapproval

  2. 2 :  the act or action of reproaching or disapproving <was beyond reproach>

  3. 3 a :  a cause or occasion of blame, discredit, or disgrace b :  discredit, disgrace

  4. 4 obsolete :  one subjected to censure or scorn

reproachful play \-fəl\ adjective
reproachfully play \-fə-lē\ adverb
reproachfulness noun

Examples of reproach in a sentence

  1. A bug in the logic of a design, though discovered and fixed in the lab, stands as a slight reproach to the designer. —Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine, 1981

  2. Yes, he told them, when he came, it was quite true that they would have to pay interest. And then Teta Elzbieta broke forth into protestations and reproaches, so that the people outside stopped and peered in at the window. —Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906

  3. “He's the finest boy in England,” the father said in a tone of reproach to her, “and you don't seem to care for him, Becky, as much as you do for your spaniel. …” —William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1847

  4. She looked at him with reproach.

  5. Accusations and reproaches from both parties made it difficult to pursue discussions.

  6. His conduct has brought shame and reproach to his family.

Origin of reproach

Middle English reproche, from Anglo-French, from reprocher to reproach, from Vulgar Latin *repropiare to bring close, show, from Latin re- + prope near — more at approach

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with reproach



verb re·proach \ri-ˈprōch\

Simple Definition of reproach

  • : to speak in an angry and critical way to (someone) : to express disapproval or disappointment to (someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of reproach

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to express disappointment in or displeasure with (a person) for conduct that is blameworthy or in need of amendment

  3. 2 :  to make (something) a matter of reproach (see 1reproach)

  4. 3 :  to bring into discredit

reproachable play \-ˈprō-chə-bəl\ adjective
reproacher noun
reproachingly play \-ˈprō-chiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of reproach in a sentence

  1. Parents and teachers gaped at the young writers, uncertain whether to reproach or praise these young adults for their language in writing about decidedly adult issues. —Tobi Jacobi, English Journal, March 2007

  2. For years I fretted over these questions and reproached myself for not having taken that diary when it was offered to me in 1945. —John Hope Franklin, Race and History, 1989

  3. She did not reproach herself with her failure; but she would have been happier if there had been less discrepancy between her words to Sophy Viner and the act which had followed them. —Edith Wharton, The Reef, 1912

  4. <our neighbor loudly reproached us for tromping through his yard>

  5. <she cleared her throat as a way of reproaching us for having our elbows on the table>

Origin of reproach

(see 1reproach)

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of reproach

reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, chide mean to criticize adversely. reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault <gently reproved my table manners>. rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof <the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics>. reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke <reprimanded by the ethics committee>. admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel <admonished by my parents to control expenses>. reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild reproof or scolding <reproached him for tardiness> <chided by their mother for untidiness>.

REPROACH Defined for Kids



verb re·proach \ri-ˈprōch\

Definition of reproach for Students


  1. :  to find fault with :  blame <I reproached him for such selfishness.>



noun re·proach

Definition of reproach for Students

  1. 1 :  something that deserves blame or disgrace

  2. 2 :  an expression of disapproval

reproachful \-fəl\ adjective
reproachfully \-fə-lē\ adverb

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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