berate

verb
be·​rate | \bi-ˈrāt, bē-\
berated; berating; berates

Definition of berate 

transitive verb

: to scold or condemn vehemently and at length being berated by her parents when she came home late

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for berate

scold, upbraid, berate, rail, revile, vituperate mean to reproach angrily and abusively. scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly. angrily scolding the children upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds. upbraided her assistants for poor research berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding. berated continually by an overbearing boss rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating. railed loudly at their insolence revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred. an alleged killer reviled in the press vituperate suggests a violent reviling. was vituperated for betraying his friends

Berate and Rate

Berate and rate can both mean "to scold angrily or violently." This sense of rate was first recorded in the 14th century, roughly two centuries before the now more familiar (and etymologically unrelated) rate meaning "to estimate the value of." We know that berate was probably formed by combining be and the older rate, but the origins of this particular rate itself are somewhat more obscure. We can trace the word back to the Middle English form raten, but beyond that things get a little murky. It's possible that rate, and by extension berate, derives from the same ancient word that led to the Swedish rata (meaning "to find blame, despise") and earlier the Old Norse hrata ("to fall, stagger"), but this is uncertain.

Examples of berate in a Sentence

there's no need to berate someone for making a mistake during the first day on the job

Recent Examples on the Web

The newspaper reported Tuesday that when Sessions flew to Florida to have dinner with the President at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in March 2017, the President berated him about his decision and asked him to rescind it, a request Sessions declined. Sophie Tatum, CNN, "Giuliani says Trump won't fire Jeff Sessions before Mueller probe ends," 30 May 2018 Surveillance video of the incident posted on YouTube on Wednesday showing the woman verbally berate the employee before squatting on the floor and defecating. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Caught on Camera Defecating on Floor of a Tim Hortons and Throwing Feces at an Employee," 17 May 2018 The minute-long footage, which has gone viral, shows the man berating an employee at the eatery and pointing at others around noontime Tuesday. Christopher Brito, CBS News, ""It's America": Video of man's racist tirade at NYC restaurant goes viral," 17 May 2018 But sources say that Gallagher had often berated Socolovsky, and that grievances either went unanswered or were met with what appeared to be reprisals. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Inside the Spectacular Implosion of Religion News Service," 27 Apr. 2018 But Republicans eager to undermine Mueller's investigation berated Strzok, citing the texts as evidence of partisan bias within a law enforcement agency supposed to steer clear of politics. Author: Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI agent clashes with GOP at hearing on Russia probe," 13 July 2018 Green, who is two technical fouls away from a suspension, berated officials on multiple occasions during the game. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "The NBA Referees finally explained why Draymond Green didn't get a 2nd technical," 7 June 2018 The stress drove Musk to berate analysts on an earnings call earlier this month, costing the company billions (its stock dropped as much as 5 percent in after-hours trading that day). Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Elon Musk Melts Down, Blames Scumbag Tesla Critics for Electing Trump," 23 May 2018 Members of the community resented press from northern states coming down to cover the issue — especially black journalists, who were relegated to a card table in the courtroom and berated by the local sheriff. Gabby Raymond, Time, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation of Emmett Till's Murder. Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Case," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of berate

1548, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about berate

Listen to Our Podcast about berate

Dictionary Entries near berate

Béranger

Berar

berat

berate

berattle

beraunite

berav

Statistics for berate

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for berate

The first known use of berate was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for berate

berate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of berate

: to yell at (someone) : to criticize (someone) in a loud and angry way

berate

verb
be·​rate | \bi-ˈrāt \
berated; berating

Kids Definition of berate

: to scold in a loud and angry way

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on berate

What made you want to look up berate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!