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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Much like Trump, who regularly criticized prosecutors and judges during his series of legal woes, Navarro accused the federal justice system of corruption, without evidence. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 18 July 2024 Trump’s crypto U-turn Trump hasn’t gone into much detail about his newfound love for crypto after criticizing it for so many years. Andrew R. Chow, TIME, 17 July 2024 Vance, known for his venture capital background and ties to Silicon Valley figures like Andreessen and Peter Thiel, has voiced opposition to AI regulation and criticized Big Tech companies for promoting government oversight. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 17 July 2024 To explain why Biles needed to step away, and why some people were so quick to criticize her for it, the series delves into how modern gymnastics became so grueling. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 17 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for criticize 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'criticize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 22 Jul. 2024.

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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