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

An art exhibit at Burning Man that featured Barbie dolls in a representation of a concentration camp has incited outrage, with many criticizing the art for trivializing the Holocaust. Cady Lang, Time, "The Holocaust Exhibit Featuring Barbie Dolls at Burning Man Draws Criticism," 6 Sep. 2019 Born on February, 21, 1924 in then-Rhodesia, Mugabe was imprisoned in 1964 for more than 10 years without trial for criticizing the government of his country, led by its white minority. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Dead At 95," 6 Sep. 2019 The mayor has also tried to bolster his campaign by directly criticizing President Trump. Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Bill de Blasio May End 2020 Presidential Bid Next Month," 4 Sep. 2019 In criticizing French leader Emmanuel Macron, Bolsonaro extended a personal dispute that has, for now, sidelined a pledge of $20 million from the Group of Seven nations to help protect Amazon rainforest. Luis Andres Henao, The Denver Post, "Brazil accepts planes from Chile to fight Amazon fires," 28 Aug. 2019 The backlash for these comments was swift, with Brown reportedly blocking users who criticized him for seemingly playing nice with Spicer. Alexis Reliford,, "Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown Deletes Twitter After Sean Spicer Comment," 24 Aug. 2019 But his opponents didn’t shy away from criticizing him in June, and can be expected to jab at Biden on Friday. John Wildermuth,, "Democratic presidential candidates come to SF to impress party regulars," 22 Aug. 2019 In July, Crenshaw accused Democratic U.S. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., of using the U.S.-Mexico border crisis as a stage for criticizing President Trump rather than for proposing solutions to the nation’s immigration problem. Fox News, "Rep. Dan Crenshaw rips Antifa demonstrators, blasts Portland protests as ‘sad showing’," 19 Aug. 2019 Ducey has been mostly complimentary of Ryan during his time as head of the state's prison system and refused to criticize him on Monday. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Ducey says he didn't ask for prison chief's resignation, adds 'I'm not piling on' after damning report," 19 Aug. 2019

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

9 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce criticize (audio) \
criticized; criticizing

Kids Definition of criticize

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

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Comments on criticize

What made you want to look up criticize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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