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

Examples of chastise in a Sentence

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 Raising a daughter in a society that loves to label, categorize, and chastise women—despite the progress feminism has made—presents a challenge to navigate as a parent. Sophie Hanson, StyleCaster, 28 June 2024 Musselman didn’t remove his foot from the gas, only pausing to chastise the act of jogging. Luca Evans, Orange County Register, 13 June 2024 Speaking with reporters after the race, Holt chastised himself for finishing second and pleaded for a sponsor to notice him. Adam Kilgore, Washington Post, 21 June 2024 Rather than chastising him about the separate account, talk to him about planning for the future. Harriette Cole, The Mercury News, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for chastise 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chastise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English chastisen, borrowed from Anglo-French chastiser, extension, with a suffix of uncertain origin, of chastier, castier "to correct by punishment, discipline" — more at chasten

Note: As has long been noted, the formation of this verb in Anglo-French is peculiar. The date is too early to expect a derivative with -iser -ize in Anglo-French or English, and there is no verb *chastir that could have produced a stem chastiss-.

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 22 Jul. 2024.

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

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