• fustigate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FUSS-tuh-gayt\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
: to beat with or as if with a short heavy club
2
: to criticize severely
  • EXAMPLES

"Hernandez missed most of the preseason practices because of an ankle sprain, and he fustigated himself for committing seven turnovers." — From an article by Jorge L. Ortiz in The San Francisco Chronicle, November 20, 2004

"Coulter is known widely for her propensity to fustigate the likes of environmentalists, atheists and Bush-bashers." — Rachel Davis, Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), March 10, 2007

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Though it won't leave a bump on your head, severe criticism can be a blow to your self-esteem. It's no wonder that "fustigate," when it first appeared in the 17th century, originally meant "to cudgel or beat with a short heavy stick," a sense that reflects the word's derivation from the Latin noun "fustis," which means "club" or "staff." The "criticize" sense is more common these days, but the violent use of "fustigate" was a hit with earlier writers like George Huddesford, who in 1801 told of an angry Jove who "cudgell'd all the constellations, ... / Swore he'd eject the man i' the moon ... / And fustigate him round his orbit."

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day begins with "c" and means "to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness"? The answer is …

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