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

And when the governor made derogatory remarks about teachers who had protested and succeeded in convincing lawmakers to greatly water down the pension bill, he was widely criticized within his own party. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Bevin bashes Andy Beshear but won't say he's in governor's race," 10 July 2018 Republicans on the common council are criticizing a vote earlier this week, led by Democrats, against sending $20,000 to the Warm the Children program. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "New Britain GOP, Democrats Square Off Over Aid Programs," 30 June 2018 Season 19 was criticized for the houseguests lacking any gameplay. Brian Porreca, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Big Brother' Bosses Preview New Twists in Season 20," 27 June 2018 Wooden, a partner at Day Pitney, was criticized for working at a law firm that represented Pratt & Whitney in the company’s plan to close a plant in Cheshire, which was fought by its biggest union. Daniela Altimari,, "AFL-CIO Backs Outsiders at State Political Convention," 22 June 2018 The reporter had argued that CNN deserved to get a question because the president had criticized the network in response to a previous question from NBC News Kristen Welker reporter. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump in U.K.: "I Don't Take Questions From CNN"," 13 July 2018 That development has been in the works since before Hogan took office and has moved ahead despite some vocal opponents, many of whom criticized a $23 million tax-increment-financing subsidy. Luke Broadwater,, "As governor, Larry Hogan's real estate business continues to thrive — prompting questions," 13 July 2018 The contortions followed a report in British newspaper The Sun late Thursday night that quoted him criticizing Mrs. May’s approach to Brexit. New York Times, "Trump Brings His Own Style to a Day of Damage Control in Britain," 13 July 2018 Schnatter had stepped down as CEO last year after criticizing NFL protests. Houston Chronicle, "Louisville football stadium removing Papa John's name," 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

9 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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