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 Hall was 20 years old at the time, and Braxton abused her regularly: choking her, punching her and berating her with verbal attacks, according to court testimony. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, "She went to prison over her boyfriend’s child abuse. Thirteen years after he got out, she’s free.," 9 Nov. 2019 Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a national-security hawk and erstwhile Trump whisperer, called in to one of the president’s favourite television shows to berate him. The Economist, "Another fine mess Donald Trump triggers a Turkish invasion and trashes the national interest," 17 Oct. 2019 Nguyen began to regularly berate Capua in front of her new teammates, which often sent Capua to the brink of tears, the suit says. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "Former University of Hartford volleyball player suing over coach’s sexual harassment, verbal attacks," 17 Sep. 2019 In one scene his most trusted and skilled adviser angrily berates him for encouraging pogroms, but Czar Nicholas is unmoved. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘The Last Czars’ Review: Deadly Delusions," 27 June 2019 Burns allegedly said while berating Juul’s supply-chain team and its suppliers for the shortages. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Lawsuit: Juul sold tainted e-liquids to users “drunk and vaping like mo-fo’s”," 30 Oct. 2019 Your teen needs to know it’s not okay to throw things, berate or curse at others, or get physically aggressive when upset, Dr. Abblett says. Tamekia Reece, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Ways to Handle Teen Anger, According to Psychologists," 29 Oct. 2019 By every account, leaders and managers who bully and berate their employees don’t make any more sales, reap more profits, win more games, or move up the corporate ladder faster than leaders who take a more gentle approach. Chris Woolston, Quartz at Work, "How to deal with an abusive boss," 29 Aug. 2019 And Trump spent part of his flight between Ohio and Texas airing his grievances on Twitter, berating Democratic lawmakers, O’Rourke and the press. Jill Colvin, Twin Cities, "Protesters chant against Trump as he visits Dayton, El Paso," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for berate

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The first known use of berate was in 1548

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Berate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/berates. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for berate

berate

verb
How to pronounce berate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for berate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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