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

In 2014, the office got a Federal Election Commission attorney who had posted partisan tweets and criticized the Republican Party in a media interview to resign. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: What is the Hatch Act, and how did Kellyanne Conway violate it?," 13 June 2019 The national government, which is controlled by Alexis Tsipras’s leftist Syriza party, was quick to criticize the locals for keeping their children out of school. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "On a Greek Island That Welcomed Migrants, Residents and Refugees Feel Abandoned," 13 June 2019 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took aim at Jamie Dimon after the JPMorgan Chase CEO criticized socialism in a public appearance on Wednesday. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Bernie Sanders says he didn't hear Jamie Dimon criticizing socialism during Wall St. bailout," 12 June 2019 Near Monday’s event, advocates for public lands hosted a small protest along a raging Gore Creek, wearing swamp monster masks to criticize Bernhardt’s ties to private industry. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Polis: Grand Junction would be best for BLM headquarters, but Denver works, too," 10 June 2019 For example, she has been criticized by some criminal justice advocates as being too tough on the accused. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Kamala Harris Defends Criminal Justice Record In South Carolina NAACP Speech," 9 June 2019 Trump criticized the accord — and Iran — again in the ITV interview. Alyza Sebenius, Fortune, "Trump: There's 'Always a Chance' of War With Iran," 5 June 2019 Opponents meanwhile continue to criticize the highway expansion and push the Hogan administration to consider alternatives. Scott Dance,, "Researcher says Hogan administration wrongly cites study to suggest highway expansion will cut air pollution," 4 June 2019 Immigration advocates and human rights groups sharply criticized CBP in the wake of Felipe’s death. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Medical checks ordered after 2nd child immigrant dies," 26 Dec. 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

17 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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