rep·​re·​hend ˌre-pri-ˈhend How to pronounce reprehend (audio)
reprehended; reprehending; reprehends

transitive verb

: to voice disapproval of : censure
Choose the Right Synonym for reprehend

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly.

criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions.

criticized the police for using violence

reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking.

reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students

censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding.

a Senator formally censured by his peers

reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction.

reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle

condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment.

condemned the government's racial policies

denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration.

a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

Examples of reprehend in a Sentence

that denomination reprehends murder in any form, contending that the taking of life is never justified without exception, book reviewers reprehended the novel's tired plot

Word History


Middle English, from Latin reprehendere, literally, to hold back, from re- + prehendere to grasp — more at get

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near reprehend

Cite this Entry

“Reprehend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


rep·​re·​hend ˌrep-ri-ˈhend How to pronounce reprehend (audio)
: to find fault with usually with sternness

More from Merriam-Webster on reprehend

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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