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, fault, knock, pan, reprehend


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

During his term in office, Sharif had criticized the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists. Fox News, "Pakistan readies for disgraced ex-PM Sharif's return from UK," 13 July 2018 Speaking with the paper’s political editor, Mr. Trump had robustly criticized Ms. May and her plans to withdraw Britain from the European Union, threatening to undermine Mr. Trump’s meeting with his British counterpart. New York Times, "‘Fake News’ Goes Global as Trump, in Britain, Rips the Press," 13 July 2018 Iustitia, the Polish judges’ association, strongly criticized her plan. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "By staying on the job, Poland's top judge fights the right-wing government," 13 July 2018 During his term in office, Sharif had criticized the military’s involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists. Zaheer Babar,, "Pakistan ex-PM’s party: Police arresting Sharif’s supporters," 12 July 2018 Some academics have criticized the effort to remove the rating. Joel Shannon, ajc, " drops 'chili pepper' rating after social media backlash," 12 July 2018 Some have criticized Jordan for not quickly taking charge of the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people inside the school's freshman building and for ordering deputies to set up a perimeter instead of confronting the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz. NBC News, "Parkland shooting investigation finds radio issues delayed police response," 12 July 2018 Nelson and environmentalists have also criticized Scott and the state Legislature for failing to use money approved by voters in 2014 for land acquisition purchases and conservation, including Everglades restoration. David Smiley And Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Florida’s politicians use slimy algae to muddy each other," 11 July 2018 Steinberg, Morrissey’s attorney, has criticized the informants’ information, calling it circumstantial. Vinny Vella,, "Threats, rage: Court filings reveal lovers' spat leading to Bucks slaying," 11 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

4 Nov 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

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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