re·​buke | \ ri-ˈbyük How to pronounce rebuke (audio) \
rebuked; rebuking

Definition of rebuke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to criticize sharply : reprimand
b : to serve as a rebuke to
2 archaic : to turn back or keep down : check



Definition of rebuke (Entry 2 of 2)

: an expression of strong disapproval : reprimand

Other Words from rebuke


rebuker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rebuke


reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, chide mean to criticize adversely. reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault. gently reproved my table manners rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof. the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke. reprimanded by the ethics committee admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel. admonished by my parents to control expenses reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild reproof or scolding. reproached him for tardiness chided by their mother for untidiness

Examples of rebuke in a Sentence

Verb the father was forced to rebuke his son for the spendthrift ways he had adopted since arriving at college strongly rebuked the girl for playing with matches Noun delivered a stinging rebuke to the Congress, calling for an end to backstabbing and arguing
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Still, reproductive rights activists hope that the issue would draw out voters to rebuke Republicans’ efforts to elude the governor’s veto. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, 12 July 2022 Haven't heard Hawley rebuke the king of grievance, the master of victimhood and the embracer of January 6 violence, Donald Trump himself. Gloria Borger, CNN, 8 Nov. 2021 Did California voters really rebuke the left on election day? Justin Raystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022 Going into election night, a talking point in the national media was whether California voters would rebuke the left and move a bit more to the center. Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2022 Many chose to rebuke traditional gowns for their appearances in favor of more avant-garde silhouettes that packed a punch. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 23 May 2022 National Review was there to rebuke the Republican president who, fearful of incurring Soviet displeasure, refused to meet Solzhenitsyn after his dramatic expulsion from Russia in 1974. Peter J. Travers, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 The appearance on Friday triggered new calls for the GOP to rebuke Greene. Tribune News Service, Arkansas Online, 28 Feb. 2022 Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare official statement a few years ago to rebuke then-President Donald Trump’s denunciations of lower-court judges as partisan actors. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Since the attack, her high-profile rebuke of Trump and his allies — and her leadership role on the House Jan. 6 select committee — has only strengthened that animosity. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 15 Aug. 2022 Their rebuke of the central Republican agenda and fund-raising issue of the last 30-odd years presents not just a short-term but a long-term problem for the GOP. Drew Westen, CNN, 11 Aug. 2022 And her rebuke of the media transforms her media background from potential liability with Republican voters to an asset. Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 In the context of Smil’s book, which will be published May 10, the word is also a rebuke to those calling for rapid decarbonization in order to combat global warming. David Marchesephoto Illustration By Bráulio Amado, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Tristia was a subtle rebuke to Bolshevik intimidation: Instead of glorifying the Soviet Union, Mandelstam mined ancient Greek mythology for themes of love, beauty, death, and eternal life. Osip Mandelstam, The Atlantic, 10 Apr. 2022 The fierce fight Ukrainians are putting up is the ultimate rebuke to all those Putin apologists in the West who said Russia’s insecurity was somehow all our fault for pressing to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 28 Feb. 2022 Dog is a rebuke to them and to the way the culture in general treats some of our finest humans like animals to be put down. Kyle Smith, National Review, 18 Feb. 2022 The action is a huge rebuke to Gosar and underscores the rift between Cheney and Kinzinger and their GOP colleagues. Aj Willingham, CNN, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rebuke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of rebuke


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rebuke


Middle English, from Anglo-French rebucher, rebouker to blunt, check, reprimand

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The first known use of rebuke was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rebuke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rebuke


re·​buke | \ ri-ˈbyük How to pronounce rebuke (audio) \
rebuked; rebuking

Kids Definition of rebuke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to criticize severely She was rebuked for being late.



Kids Definition of rebuke (Entry 2 of 2)

: an expression of strong disapproval

More from Merriam-Webster on rebuke

Nglish: Translation of rebuke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rebuke for Arabic Speakers


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