crit·​i·​cize | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce criticize (audio) \
criticized; criticizing

Essential Meaning of criticize

1 : to express disapproval of (someone or something) : to talk about the problems or faults of (someone or something) His boss criticized him for his sloppy work habits. The judge was widely/roundly criticized for his verdict. See More ExamplesThe editor criticized the author's work as trite. It seems as though all he ever does is criticize.Hide
2 : to look at and make judgments about (something, such as a piece of writing or a work of art) He asked me to criticize [=critique] his drawings.

Full 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.

Other Words from criticize

criticizable \ ˈkri-​tə-​ˌsī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce criticize (audio) \ adjective
criticizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for criticize



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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 To say that the movie feels empty by the end is not to criticize it. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 15 Jan. 2022 June cover story, Pugh indirectly touched on her relationship with Braff and the fact that people criticize her 21-year age difference with the actor. Starr Savoy, ELLE, 5 Jan. 2022 This doesn’t mean that professors and students can’t criticize Israel. Evan Gerstmann, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 The reflexive post-Trump reticence for Democrats to criticize Biden evaporated shortly after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, with countless Democrats now on the record as skeptical or worse toward the president's plan and execution. Rick Klein, ABC News, 30 Aug. 2021 As former Trump administration officials criticize President Biden’s handling of the evacuation crisis, they have in turn been accused of trying to rewrite history. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2021 Ducey was among the slate of GOP lawmakers across the country to criticize the Biden administration over the military's exit from the country after 20 years. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 26 Aug. 2021 With a logo that resembled Pepe the Frog and a promise to never censor, Gab’s allegiances were clear, though Torba later would criticize Donald Trump from the right. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 There's a kind of understanding among governors and ex-governors: that the person in office won't publicly criticize predecessors, who return the favor by keeping opinions about the current governor private. Patrick Condon, Star Tribune, 19 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for criticize

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The first known use of criticize was in 1643

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Statistics for criticize

Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Criticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for criticize


crit·​i·​cize | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce criticize (audio) \
criticized; criticizing

Kids Definition of criticize

1 : to examine and judge
2 : to find fault with

More from Merriam-Webster on criticize

Nglish: Translation of criticize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of criticize for Arabic Speakers


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