ac·​cu·​sa·​to·​ry | \ ə-ˈkyü-zə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce accusatory (audio) \

Definition of accusatory

: 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

But as the day wore on, tempers remained calm, former strangers at tables talked easily and neckties hung open — far from the accusatory climate of recent weeks. John Leland, New York Times, "Wrangling Begins in Queens D.A. Recount, Recalling Florida Intrigue in 2000," 15 July 2019 This isn’t accusatory; just something worth considering. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From Wimbledon 2019," 14 July 2019 This form of rebellion journalism makes Martin seem an accusatory ingrate rather than an artist with a personal vision whose endeavors are worthy of respect. Armond White, National Review, "The New York Times’ Black-Film Roundtable Ignores Black American Excellence," 10 July 2019 But, just as Kassin found, accusatory questioning often provoked false confessions. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "This psychologist explains why people confess to crimes they didn’t commit," 13 June 2019 Some of those pointing an accusatory finger at Jones skipping voluntary practices must forget Bill Parcells drawing a stupid line in the dirt on Jason Taylor over these offseason workouts. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Reshad Jones is back with Dolphins — but question of his future won’t go away | Commentary," 4 June 2019 By withholding from the committee the accusatory Ford letter that came into her possession nearly two months ago, Sen. Feinstein ensured the nomination’s descent into such a hapless, cynical moment. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "What Democrats Have Become," 19 Sep. 2018 That’s the first accusatory question in every budding conspiracy theory about my minor role in the controversy. John Mccain, WSJ, "John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man’," 10 May 2018 Specifically, that kind of anger and accusatory, petty sort of thing. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Okkervil River on Autobiographical Song 'Famous Tracheotomies': 'There's Certainly a Gratitude for Being Alive'," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accusatory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accusatory

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accusatory

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

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Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of accusatory

: accusing or blaming someone : assigning blame or fault


ac·​cus·​a·​to·​ry | \ ə-ˈkyü-zə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce accusatory (audio) \

Legal Definition of accusatory

1 : containing or expressing an accusation the accusatory pleading

More from Merriam-Webster on accusatory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with accusatory

Spanish Central: Translation of accusatory

Nglish: Translation of accusatory for Spanish Speakers

Comments on accusatory

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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