ac·​cu·​sa·​to·​ry ə-ˈkyü-zə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce accusatory (audio)
: containing or expressing accusation : accusing
an accusatory look

Examples of accusatory in a Sentence

He pointed an accusatory finger at the suspect. The book has a harsh, accusatory tone.
Recent Examples on the Web Phillips weakly defended himself but, amid a welcome backlash, deleted an accusatory tweet and updated his article. Christian Schneider, National Review, 21 Dec. 2023 One other excellent point that was brought up was how sexist this accusatory video also came off as. Melissa Willets, Parents, 25 Sep. 2023 The film’s accusatory fury is matched by Van Peebles’s distinctive style, which distills the action into precise and sharp-edged compositions of high graphic design. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 22 Sep. 2023 While the musical dog whistle’s echos fade back into the cacophony of constant and scary, angry, accusatory noise we are all inundated with, the song that tells a simple story of humans trying to move forward remains. cleveland, 14 Sep. 2023 Rushing into the void, partisan actors unleashed bitterly accusatory rhetoric that threatens to engulf both the court case and the presidential race. Toluse Olorunnipa, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2023 Instead of confronting him in an accusatory way, make sure to come from a place of kindness and concern. Annie Lane, Anchorage Daily News, 30 July 2023 Homes were abandoned, lawsuits filed and accusatory fingers wagged in all directions. André Naffis-Sahely, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 Several of the men who were interviewed for this article also described their initial interactions with the NYPD as accusatory, with police repeatedly challenging them on their denials of illicit drug use and questioning their levels of alcohol consumption. Matt Lavietes, NBC News, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accusatory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin accūsātōrius "of a prosecutor, denunciatory," from accūsātor "prosecutor, accuser" (from accūsāre "to call to account, accuse" + -tor, agent suffix) + -ius, adjective suffix

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accusatory was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near accusatory

Cite this Entry

“Accusatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ac·​cu·​sa·​to·​ry ə-ˈkyü-zə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce accusatory (audio)
: containing or expressing accusation
an accusatory look

Legal Definition


ac·​cus·​a·​to·​ry ə-ˈkyü-zə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce accusatory (audio)
: containing or expressing an accusation
the accusatory pleading

More from Merriam-Webster on accusatory

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