crit·​i·​cize | \ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz \
criticized; criticizing

Definition of criticize 

intransitive verb

: to act as a critic

transitive verb

1 : to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate He asked me to criticize his drawings.

2 : to find fault with : point out the faults of His boss criticized him for his sloppy work.

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Other Words from criticize

criticizable \ˈkri-​tə-​ˌsī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective
criticizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for criticize


blame, censure, condemn, denounce, dis (also diss) [slang], dispraise, fault, knock, pan, reprehend, slag [chiefly British]


extol (also extoll), laud, praise

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Choose the Right Synonym for criticize

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly. criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions. criticized the police for using violence reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking. reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding. a Senator formally censured by his peers reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction. reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment. condemned the government's racial policies denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration. a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

Examples of criticize in a Sentence

His boss criticized him for his sloppy work habits. The judge was widely criticized for his verdict. The editor criticized the author's work as trite. It seems as though all he ever does is criticize.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this year, John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain criticized McSally for not mentioning her father's name while discussing a bill in his honor. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Cindy McCain Pays Tribute to Her Late Husband at an Election Rally in Arizona," 6 Nov. 2018 The singer is famously apolitical, and many have criticized her for not endorsing a candidate in the 2016 election. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Just Made a Rare Political Statement," 7 Oct. 2018 Democrats had criticized the FBI’s investigation, saying the scope was not wide enough, so the White House allowed the agency to go beyond those four interviews as long as the investigation concluded within its one-week deadline. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "The FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Is Over, but They Didn't Interview Dr. Christine Blasey Ford," 4 Oct. 2018 During his term in office, Sharif criticized the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018 The latest high-profile public figure to criticize the deal New York made with Amazon to bring half of the company’s new headquarters to Long Island City, Queens is none other than New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Nick Statt, The Verge, "New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says Amazon shouldn’t be receiving tax breaks for HQ2," 15 Nov. 2018 Trump expressed no sympathy for those in the fires’ path, instead using the disasters to criticize the state’s environmental regulations. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid," 10 Nov. 2018 Despite Trump's many attempts to criticize the practice of kneeling during the National Anthem, the act has been praised and adopted by people across the country who want to speak out against racial inequality in the US. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump's Campaign Is Selling “Stand Up For America” Football Jerseys," 10 Oct. 2018 Rogers did not hesitate to criticize his players and other coaches in the league. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Darryl Rogers funeral: Arrangements set for ex-Detroit Lions, MSU coach," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criticize.' 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 criticize

1643, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for criticize

critic entry 1 + -ize

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Statistics for criticize

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for criticize

The first known use of criticize was in 1643

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More Definitions for criticize



English Language Learners Definition of criticize

: to express disapproval of (someone or something) : to talk about the problems or faults of (someone or something)

: to look at and make judgments about (something, such as a piece of writing or a work of art)


crit·​i·​cize | \ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz \
criticized; criticizing

Kids Definition of criticize

1 : to examine and judge

2 : to find fault with

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Comments on criticize

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