lam·​baste | \ (ˌ)lam-ˈbāst How to pronounce lambaste (audio) , -ˈbast; ˈlam-ˌbāst, -ˌbast How to pronounce lambaste (audio) \
variants: or lambast
lambasted; lambasting; lambastes or lambasts

Definition of lambaste

transitive verb

1 : to assault violently : beat, whip
2 : to attack verbally : censure critics lambasted his performance

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Did You Know?

The origins of lambaste are somewhat uncertain, but the word was most likely formed by combining the verbs lam and baste, both of which mean "to beat severely." (Incidentally, lambaste can also be spelled lambast, despite the modern spelling of the verb baste.) Some other synonyms of lambaste include pummel, thrash, and pound. Pummel suggests beating with one's fists ("the bully pummeled the smaller child until teachers intervened"). Pound also suggests heavy blows, though perhaps not quite so much as pummel, and may imply a continuous rain of blows ("she pounded on the door"). Thrash means to strike repeatedly and thoroughly as if with a whip ("the boxer thrashed his opponent").

Examples of lambaste in a Sentence

The coach lambasted the team for its poor play. They wrote several letters lambasting the new law.
Recent Examples on the Web Since League left the government last summer, 5 Star has continued to govern in partnership with the Democrats—the epitome of the political establishment that the 5 Star used to lambaste. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s 5 Star Leader Resigns as Support Sinks," 22 Jan. 2020 If schools are closed and conditions are not sufficiently treacherous, parents lambaste the city for leaving them to deal with child care while the adults still have to show up to their jobs. Washington Post, "D.C. region schools are ready to call a snow day — they just hope they don’t need to," 2 Dec. 2019 Before social media allowed Swift’s fan to lambaste Caryle online, Radiohead spoke out against Terra Firma’s 2007 purchase of EMI Music and left Parlophone Records to release a string of successful, self- and independently-released albums. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "How Taylor Swift's Outrage at Private Equity Could Shape Future Deals," 14 Jan. 2020 And Rihanna has used social media to lambaste the president on the subject of gun violence. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Louis Vuitton welcomed Trump to the opening of its new factory. And yes, it was odd.," 18 Oct. 2019 But when Sedgwick proceeded to lambaste Darwin in public, the mild-mannered Henslow pulled him back. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘The Spirit of Inquiry’ Review: Inventing the Scientist," 28 June 2019 This is the same Partnership that once lobbied behind the scenes in Washington to kill Cape Wind, and helped pay for full-page newspaper ads to publicly lambaste it. Jon Chesto,, "Powerful business group adds climate change to its priorities," 13 June 2019 Italy’s political leaders continue to lambaste EU officials tasked with enforcing the bloc’s fiscal rulebook. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "The Achilles’ Heel for Italy’s Populists: Weak Banks," 5 Oct. 2018 When the European Central Bank or the International Monetary Fund release dry assessments of fiscal risks, Mr. Salvini and his peers gleefully take to social media and lambaste them in colorful terms. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s New Masters Rattle EU, But Ordinary Italians Say ‘Benissimo’," 17 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lambaste.' 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 lambaste

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lambaste

probably from lam entry 1 + baste

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Time Traveler for lambaste

Time Traveler

The first known use of lambaste was in 1620

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Cite this Entry

“Lambaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lambaste


How to pronounce lambaste (audio) How to pronounce lambaste (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lambaste

: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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