lam·​baste | \(ˌ)lam-ˈbāst, -ˈbast;ˈlam-ˌbāst, -ˌbast \
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

In true 2018 fashion, #BoycottABC crossed the aisle, becoming a way for right-wing accounts to lambaste ABC for censoring their new celebrity spokesperson. Emma Grey Ellis And Justice Namaste, WIRED, "Canceling Roseanne Wasn't About Conviction—It Was About Capital," 30 May 2018 On April 20, the president took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel's push for higher prices. Houston Chronicle, "Under pressure from Trump, Saudis put brakes on oil price rally," 25 May 2018 Republicans often lambaste federal bureaucrats for substituting their judgement for that of a child’s parents; and yet, this proposal would ostensibly force some parents to accept groceries that their children are allergic to. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Wants to Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes," 13 Feb. 2018 Comedians and others have defended Wolf’s routine in recent days, lauding her routine and her efforts to lambaste both sides of the aisle and the news media – along with the Trump Administration. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "'I Wouldn't Change a Single Word.' Michelle Wolf Responds to Backlash Over White House Correspondents Dinner," 1 May 2018 Most important, listen to the doubters, don’t lambaste them. Stewart Easterby, WSJ, "Climate Activists Are Lousy Salesmen," 25 Apr. 2018 To lambaste Zuckerberg at these hearings is a necessary precondition for the development of robust policy, an important moment in the reordering of political economy—power brought to bear against power. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Silicon Valley Falls to Earth," 9 Apr. 2018 Critics took to social media to lambaste DeVos — a Michigan billionaire who never attended or sent her children to a public school — for stumbling over some of her answers about basic education issues. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Betsy DeVos defends herself on Twitter after being skewered for ’60 Minutes’ performance," 12 Mar. 2018 Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds a special news conference to lambaste the media for reporting that Trump’s inauguration drew a smaller attendance than Barack Obama’s eight years earlier. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Reporters Should Leave Trump Alone, Argues America’s Worst Media Critic," 9 Feb. 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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Dictionary Entries near lambaste






lambda point


Statistics for lambaste

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Time Traveler for lambaste

The first known use of lambaste was in 1620

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English Language Learners Definition of lambaste

: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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More from Merriam-Webster on lambaste

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lambaste

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lambaste

Spanish Central: Translation of lambaste

Nglish: Translation of lambaste for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lambaste for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lambaste

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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