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 Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a progressive who until earlier this year would lambaste climate deniers every week from the Senate floor, still seems to prefer a carbon price. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: The Great Climate Bill of 2021 Is Being Shaped Now," 23 Feb. 2021 The caravan will stop at SAWS headquarters to lambaste rate hikes that will contribute to renters’ inability to stay in their homes and thus create homelessness. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: San Antonio hunger striker to end fast with strike on city manager," 13 Feb. 2021 Facebook and Twitter accounts that extol Trump and lambaste Democrats as soft on China are highly influential there. Washington Post, "Hong Kong democracy activists confront their Trump dilemma," 15 Jan. 2021 While neither Republican has taken questions recently from reporters, both have used short remarks at rallies to lambaste the Democrats, while saying little about their own priorities in the Senate. David Weigel, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s refusal to concede creates tricky messaging issue for Georgia Republicans," 15 Nov. 2020 At Phipp's confirmation hearing, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse mocked Harris's questions by pretending to lambaste Phipps for his religious beliefs. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Trump's updated Supreme Court list focuses heavily on religious liberty and abortion," 10 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, Trump has continued to lambaste Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia’s civil war. Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune, "Rep. Ilhan Omar looks to ride her national profile to another term in Congress," 3 Nov. 2020 Vice President Mike Pence at a Wednesday event in Florida used President Trump’s record on religious liberty to lambaste Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Washington Examiner, "Pence lambastes Biden for flipping on the Hyde Amendment and the Little Sisters of the Poor," 5 Aug. 2020 On Tuesday night, as the city’s go team fanned out across 14th Street NW to knock on doors with fireworks safety fliers, an angry resident emerged from his house to lambaste the officers. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Unprecedented fireworks boom spreads across D.C. ahead of July 4," 2 July 2020

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

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The first known use of lambaste was in 1620

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lambaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of lambaste

: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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