rebuke

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

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

rebuke

2 of 2

noun

: an expression of strong disapproval : reprimand
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

Example Sentences

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
That primary offered enraged Democrats their first opportunity to rebuke then-President Trump. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2022 However, foie gras critics rebuke that this is a ridiculous excuse, and that the birds are clearly harmed by the gavage. Elsbeth Sites, Discover Magazine, 24 Feb. 2015 Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor, told the Washington Post that the drastic cut could cripple the purpose of punitive damages, which are in place to rebuke a defendant's bad behavior. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, 4 Jan. 2023 Voters may rebuke the party controlling the White House and Congress amid surging inflation, concerns about crime and pessimism about the direction of the country. Will Weissert, ajc, 7 Nov. 2022 Voters may rebuke the party controlling the White House and Congress amid surging inflation, concerns about crime and pessimism about the direction of the country. Will Weissert, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Nov. 2022 Federal prosecutors sought to rebuke the defense's claim Thursday by arguing that the Oath Keepers' messages demonstrate ambitions beyond just providing security for Trump allies. John Woolley, CBS News, 20 Oct. 2022 In an open letter, Cantrell invoked her identity to rebuke the protesters. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2022 Peskov did not rebuke Kadyrov for his public attacks on the military Monday, saying that the Chechen leader has made a major contribution to the war on Ukraine. Robyn Dixon, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Oct. 2022
Noun
The original was meant by Couture as a rebuke to the Romans, who look bored and exhausted by their orgy and whose empire is doomed. Saskia Solomon, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 The prize was seen as a strong rebuke to the authoritarian rule of Putin. Jan M. Olsen, ajc, 8 Dec. 2022 The final product was seen by some as a strong rebuke of a war that has killed thousands, heightened global security tensions and disrupted the world economy. Adam Schreck, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Nov. 2022 Midterm setbacks for Democrats seen as a rebuke of Biden's leadership presumably could be part of the calculation. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 8 Nov. 2022 Truss' short time as prime minister, the shortest in history, came about as a complete rebuke of her economic plan for the country. Mark Osborne, ABC News, 24 Oct. 2022 In fact, the book was first printed in 1810, but the entire run was destroyed by the order of Napoleon, who saw its praise of German culture as an implicit rebuke to France. Adam Kirsch, The New Republic, 21 Oct. 2022 Pelosi' statement in Armenia is likely to be taken as a rebuke of Russia's ongoing efforts. Anders Hagstrom, Fox News, 18 Sep. 2022 In its tastes, Telluride serves as a standing rebuke to everything that has gone wrong in Hollywood. Kyle Smith, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2022 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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rebuke

Cite this Entry

“Rebuke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebuke. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

rebuke

1 of 2 verb
re·​buke ri-ˈbyük How to pronounce rebuke (audio)
rebuked; rebuking
: to criticize sharply

rebuke

2 of 2 noun
: an expression of strong disapproval

More from Merriam-Webster on rebuke

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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