chastised; chastising

transitive verb

: to censure severely : castigate
The coach chastised the players for their mistakes.
: to inflict punishment on (as by whipping)
archaic : chasten sense 2
(ˌ)cha-ˈstīz-mənt How to pronounce chastise (audio)
 also  ˈchas-təz-
chastiser noun

Did you know?

There are many words to express the infliction of a penalty in return for wrongdoing—for example, chastise, castigate, chasten, correct, discipline, and punish. Of these, chastise, chasten, and castigate share similar origins as well as similar meanings. Chastise developed as an altered form of chasten, which comes from the Anglo-French chastier, which has its roots in the Latin verb castigare, which also gave English the word castigate.

Choose the Right Synonym for chastise

punish, chastise, castigate, chasten, discipline, correct mean to inflict a penalty on in requital for wrongdoing.

punish implies subjecting to a penalty for wrongdoing.

punished for stealing

chastise may apply to either the infliction of corporal punishment or to verbal censure or denunciation.

chastised his son for neglecting his studies

castigate usually implies a severe, typically public censure.

an editorial castigating the entire city council

chasten suggests any affliction or trial that leaves one humbled or subdued.

chastened by a landslide election defeat

discipline implies a punishing or chastening in order to bring under control.

parents must discipline their children

correct implies punishing aimed at reforming an offender.

the function of prison is to correct the wrongdoer

Example Sentences

The waiter was chastised for forgetting the customer's order. The coach is always chastising the players for minor mistakes.
Recent Examples on the Web Kidd interrupted a reporter’s question about Doncic lobbying for calls to instead chastise him for not hustling on transition defense. Dallas News, 27 Feb. 2023 Altman's protestations are like those of an elite runner in marathon who, after having made a break from the pack, then turns around to chastise another competitor for picking up the pace in order to try to reel him back in. Byjeremy Kahn, Fortune, 1 Feb. 2023 His comments prompted Representative Jay Livingstone, who represents the Back Bay, to speak up and chastise him. Jon Chesto,, 12 Feb. 2023 After the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Washington Wizards at home Tuesday night, 127-126, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma took to Twitter to chastise the Mavericks. Doyle Rader, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 Some scholars thought Navasky romanticized Kennedy, although the author did chastise Kennedy for his record of appointing segregationist judges to the federal courts. Hillel Italie, ajc, 24 Jan. 2023 Some scholars thought Navasky romanticized Kennedy, although the author did chastise Kennedy for his record of appointing segregationist judges to the federal courts. CBS News, 24 Jan. 2023 The proposal was introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot — who had to chastise her own security detail last year for parking in a bike lane — and several aldermen who have been pushing more strict enforcement of bike lane protections. Chicago Tribune, 19 Jan. 2023 At checkpoints along streets and in spot inspections on farms, the morality police chastise women who are not covered from head to toe in all-concealing burqas and headpieces in public. Najim Rahim, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English chastisen, alteration of chasten — see chasten

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of chastise was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near chastise

Cite this Entry

“Chastise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


chas·​tise (ˈ)chas-ˈtīz How to pronounce chastise (audio)
chastised; chastising
: to punish severely (as by whipping)
: to criticize harshly
(ˈ)chas-ˈtīz-mənt How to pronounce chastise (audio)
 also  ˈchas-təz-
chastiser noun

More from Merriam-Webster on chastise

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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