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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Still others cheer on the candidacies of celebrities whose partisan affiliation lines up with their own and lambaste those running on the other side of the aisle. Lauren A. Wright, CNN, "The real problem with famous candidates," 27 Apr. 2021 In the hour-and-forty-five minute video, Mr. DeSantis and the four panelists lambaste the U.S. coronavirus response as excessively draconian and ineffective. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "YouTube’s Assault on Covid Accountability," 8 Apr. 2021 Of course, so was Trump’s heavy use of Twitter to lambaste opponents, laud supporters and spread false claims to more than 80 million followers. NBC News, "Congress to press Big Tech CEOs over speech, misinformation," 25 Mar. 2021 Republicans criticized them anyway for lacking border security provisions and used the debate to lambaste Biden, who's ridden a wave of popularity since taking office and winning a massive COVID-19 relief package. Alan Fram, Star Tribune, "House passes immigration bills for farm workers, 'Dreamers'," 19 Mar. 2021 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of lambaste

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lambaste

probably from lam entry 1 + baste

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lambaste

Time Traveler for lambaste

Time Traveler

The first known use of lambaste was in 1620

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about lambaste

Statistics for lambaste

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lambaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lambaste



English Language Learners Definition of lambaste

: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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