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 That marks a shift from a year ago, when the White House publicly chastised the kingdom for cutting oil production following a controversial visit by President Biden. Karen Deyoung, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 The musician and actress then shared that she's been chastised in the past by Jackson superfans for not posting her dad on social media. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2023 Former United States Women's National Team captain Carli Lloyd chastised the USWNT and questioned the mentality of its players Tuesday following a 0-0 draw against Portugal in the FIFA Women's World Cup. Luke Gentile, Washington Examiner, 1 Aug. 2023 Workers, whom Parsa referred to as Babylonians, were chastised by the CEO for leaving at 5:30 pm, Harvey says. WIRED, 19 Sep. 2023 Kayla’s interest in Tyler, who was at the time married to actress Brittany Snow, was understandably controversial, and many of her co-workers (namely Alex Hall and Polly Brindle) took every opportunity to chastise her for it. Ineye Komonibo,, 14 Sep. 2023 One factor is the continuing refusal of Chief Justice Roberts to either chastise his colleagues who have violated clear ethical standards or move to apply a Code of Ethics like the one that applies to all other federal judges. Norman J. Ornstein, The New Republic, 11 Sep. 2023 Monk begrudgingly moves from California back home to Boston, where his sister Lisa (Tracee Ellis Ross) chastises him for his absence. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 The lone woman chastised the seven men, casting herself as the adult in the room. Lisa Lerer, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

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 26 Sep. 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

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