ob·​jur·​ga·​tion ˌäb-jər-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce objurgation (audio)
: a harsh rebuke
objurgate transitive verb
objurgatory adjective

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Objurgation traces to the Latin objurgare ("to scold or blame"), which was formed from ob- ("against") and jurgare ("to quarrel" or, literally, "to take to law"—in other words, "to bring a lawsuit"). Jur- in Latin means "law," and there are several English words related to objurgation that have legal implications, including perjury, abjure, jurisprudence, and even injury. But despite its etymological connection to the law, the word objurgation carries no legal weight. It refers to nothing more than an unusually harsh or severe scolding.

Examples of objurgation in a Sentence

particularly humiliating for the general was the White House's objurgation of his misguided and unauthorized attempt at enunciating foreign policy

Word History


Middle English objurgacyon, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French objurgacion, borrowed from Latin objūrgātiōn-, objūrgātiō, from objūrgāre "to reprove, rebuke, find fault with" (from ob- "against" + jūrgāre, jūrigāre "to quarrel, wrangle, utter reproaches," from jūr-, jūs "law, right, prerogative" + -igāre, causative and factitive suffix) + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at ob-, just entry 1, fumigate

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of objurgation was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near objurgation

Cite this Entry

“Objurgation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objurgation. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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