berate

verb
be·​rate | \ bi-ˈrāt How to pronounce berate (audio) , 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

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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

In recent months, gymnasts have come forward with complaints about the ranch and the Karolyis: the accommodations were substandard; the food was terrible; they were berated and body-shamed. NBC News, "Silent no more: Inside the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal," 22 Apr. 2018 Trump berated Sessions privately and, starting in July 2017, mocked and insulted him publicly in an apparent effort to goad him into resigning. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The many scandals of Trump’s new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 Shahid never slept, not at night and not during the day and not after his pediatrician berated me for the expectation. Sorayya Khan, Longreads, "The Cities in Me," 8 Feb. 2018 Midway through the discussion, Putin turned directly to McFaul and berated him for trying to ruin United States-Russia relations. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 Shulaya physically assaulted the older male and verbally berated him. Garrett Graff, Longreads, "A Vor Never Sleeps," 5 June 2018 The New York Times reports that, following the recusal, Trump asked Sessions to un-recuse himself, and berated him for refusing to do so. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Demanded Sessions Block Russia Probe Because He Thinks He’s Above the Law," 29 May 2018 Wall had just taken his teen sister to the prom and was at the Warsaw Waffle House with a large group of people when Crump said a white employee berated them for sitting down at a table that hadn't yet been cleaned. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Lawyer vows to investigate Waffle House over alleged discrimination after controversial arrests," 14 May 2018 Technically -- though very unlikely -- the House of Commons could call Zuckerberg to appear before them and berate him for his behavior. Giles Turner, Bloomberg.com, "Zuckerberg Risks a Night in U.K. Parliament’s Clock Tower," 1 May 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.

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First Known Use of berate

1548, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near berate

Béranger

Berar

berat

berate

berattle

beraunite

berav

Statistics for berate

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for berate

The first known use of berate was in 1548

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More Definitions for berate

berate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of berate

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

berate

verb
be·​rate | \ bi-ˈrāt How to pronounce berate (audio) \
berated; berating

Kids Definition of berate

: to scold in a loud and angry way

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More from Merriam-Webster on berate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with berate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for berate

Spanish Central: Translation of berate

Nglish: Translation of berate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of berate for Arabic Speakers

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