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 An unnamed moderator for TheDonald wrote an accusatory email in response to a request for commentthat used an obscenity to describe Washington Post reporters but did not respond to the substance of the query. Author: Craig Timberg, Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "Twitter warns of new violence to come, brewing again on social media, as reason for Trump ban," 9 Jan. 2021 An accusatory tone makes people feel judged and is guaranteed to put them on the defense and less willing to share specific details. Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "Coping: Is it OK to ask how someone got COVID-19?," 25 Dec. 2020 Remember all those accusatory stories about last summer’s Sturgis motorcycle rally? Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "A Vaccine Is Already Helping," 17 Nov. 2020 For Geiss, who saw her Hollywood acting and screenwriting career derailed by Weinstein in 2008, only to resurface in 2017 with an accusatory press conference at Sundance, putting the musical project on the shelf was not an option. Etan Vlessing, Billboard, "Diane Warren on #MeToo Musical 'The Right Girl': 'Music Is a Powerful Tool to Get Voices Heard'," 29 Oct. 2020 Republicans who followed some accusatory questioning from Democrats often gave Barrett a chance to rebut the negative insinuations. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Barrett emerges largely unscathed after final day of Supreme Court confirmation questioning," 14 Oct. 2020 That automatically transferred his case to the Attorney General’s office and the country’s accusatory system of justice. Juan Forero, WSJ, "Colombian Court Frees Ex-President From House Arrest in Divisive Case," 10 Oct. 2020 Questioning with a hostile, aggressive or accusatory inflection may please and excite those who are alienated by or unknowing of religious life in America. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Truth About People of Praise," 24 Sep. 2020 And his accusatory use of the first-person plural in leveling them was hardly accidental. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New Republic, "Will 2020 Finally Kill America’s War Fetish?," 9 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for accusatory

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for accusatory

Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accusatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for accusatory


How to pronounce accusatory (audio)

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

Nglish: Translation of accusatory for Spanish Speakers

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