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

intransitive verb

: to act as a critic

transitive verb

: to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate
He asked me to criticize his drawings.
: to find fault with : point out the faults of
His boss criticized him for his sloppy work.
criticizable adjective
criticizer noun
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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Gwyneth Paltrow broke down her extremely Goop-y wellness routine on an episode of Dear Media’s The Art of Wellness podcast, released Monday, March 13, and people on social media were quick to criticize it. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 15 Mar. 2023 Both Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin flash middle fingers as a reaction to those who criticize that choice, laughing. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 13 Mar. 2023 View More To scoff at or criticize or even ignore the annual ritual that is the Academy Awards is not to escape its hold on our culture. Dana Stevens, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2023 People should only look at the paintings and have the painting strike their imagination and not try to understand or criticize, condemn, or complain about what the artist has done. Bob Guccione Jr, SPIN, 17 Feb. 2023 His personal courage and blunt rhetoric put to shame the moral minnows who cynically and foolishly criticize his dress, manner, history, and aims. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 24 Dec. 2022 Known for his love of teaching, Buffett typically uses his letter not only to discuss Berkshire’s performance, but also to advise younger investors, break down key themes in markets, and sometimes criticize the misbehavior of CEOs. Will Daniel, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2023 Chinese officials frequently criticize its President Tsai Ing-wen and her party for their view that the island is politically separate from China, and threaten to use force to prevent Taiwan’s formal independence. Debby Wu,, 1 Feb. 2023 McCarthy and other Republicans did not criticize the swap. Joel Simon, The New Yorker, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


critic entry 1 + -ize

First Known Use

1621, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of criticize was in 1621

Dictionary Entries Near criticize

Cite this Entry

“Criticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


crit·​i·​cize ˈkrit-ə-ˌsīz How to pronounce criticize (audio)
criticized; criticizing
: to examine and judge as a critic
: to find fault with

More from Merriam-Webster on criticize

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