Definition of castigate
- The judge castigated the lawyers for their lack of preparation.
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The author castigated the prime minister as an ineffective leader.
castigated him for his constant tardiness
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'castigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Castigate has a synonym in chastise - both verbs mean to punish or to censure someone. Fittingly, both words derive from the same root: the Latin castigare, formed from the words for "pure" (castus) and "to drive" (agere). (Castus also gave us the noun caste, meaning "social class or rank.") Another verb derived from castigare is chasten, which can also mean "to discipline by punishment" but more commonly means "to subdue or make humble" (as in "chastened by his foolish error"). Castigate is the youngest of the three verbs in English, dating from the early 17th century, some three centuries after chasten and chastise.
: to criticize (someone) harshly
What made you want to look up castigate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to speak or write verbosely and windily
Get Word of the Day daily email!