fus·​ti·​gate | \ ˈfə-stə-ˌgāt How to pronounce fustigate (audio) \
fustigated; fustigating

Definition of fustigate

transitive verb

1 : cudgel
2 : to criticize severely

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fustigate

fustigation \ ˌfə-​stə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce fustigate (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Though it won't leave a bump on your head, severe criticism can be a blow to your self-esteem. It's no wonder that "fustigate," when it first appeared in the 17th century, originally meant "to cudgel or beat with a short heavy stick," a sense that reflects the word's derivation from the Latin noun fustis, which means "club" or "staff." The "criticize" sense is more common these days, but the violent use of "fustigate" was a hit with earlier writers like George Huddesford, who in 1801 told of an angry Jove who "cudgell'd all the constellations, ... / Swore he'd eject the man i' the moon ... / And fustigate him round his orbit."

First Known Use of fustigate

circa 1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fustigate

Late Latin fustigatus, past participle of fustigare, from Latin fustis + -igare (as in fumigare to fumigate)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fustigate

Time Traveler for fustigate

Time Traveler

The first known use of fustigate was circa 1661

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about fustigate

Statistics for fustigate

Cite this Entry

“Fustigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fustigate. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on fustigate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fustigate

Comments on fustigate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!