1 of 2


rep·​ri·​mand ˈre-prə-ˌmand How to pronounce reprimand (audio)
: a severe or formal reproof


2 of 2


reprimanded; reprimanding; reprimands

transitive verb

: to reprove sharply or censure formally usually from a position of authority
Choose the Right Synonym for reprimand

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 reprimand in a Sentence

Noun while reviewing the troops, the officer delivered a curt reprimand to one of the soldiers Verb The soldiers were severely reprimanded. reprimanded the summer intern for her constant tardiness
Recent Examples on the Web
The House has censured members 25 times and issued 11 reprimands. Joella Carman, NBC News, 1 Nov. 2023 Four of the five were given reprimands, and Senator Alan Cranston, Democrat of California, received a severe rebuke for his behavior and later announced his retirement. Neil A. Lewis, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Sankey issued a public reprimand of both coaches and silenced them. J. Brady McCollough, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Kishan has spent two years dressing, feeding, and giving Babuji sponge baths, while being on the receiving end of countless reprimands. Pratham Khurana, The New Yorker, 20 Oct. 2023 In such cases, the board has discretion to take certain actions - ranging from verbal or written reprimand, suspension to termination, depending on the circumstances. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 17 Oct. 2023 Under state guidelines, his discipline could range from a light reprimand to his outright dismissal from the bench. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 21 Aug. 2023 Miles did her best, but fumbled while preparing scallops for the appetizers and earned a few reprimands from Ramsay. Mary Colurso |, al, 13 Sep. 2023 The verbal reprimand turned physical when Sledge struck the player in the stomach. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2023
In the ensuing uproar, Mr. Licht reprimanded Mr. Lemon but tried to protect his job. Benjamin Mullin, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2023 The Florida Department of Elder Affairs office, after being contacted by The Post, reprimanded Carlson for her failure to file timely reports. Mary Jordan, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2023 The cross-examination was rough going for the jury, the observers, and the judge, who reprimanded defense counsel Christian Everdell for repeating the same questions the government had just asked. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, 6 Oct. 2023 In the statement, Woolf claimed retaliation began in March or April 2016, when a lieutenant reprimanded him for defying an order against piloting his own aircraft while traveling on police business. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2023 When Garcia complained about it, the secretary of state reprimanded the actual notary. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2023 Gilbert and others in her office were formally reprimanded in 2009 after her team of prosecutors secretly recorded witnesses in a narcotics case being interviewed by defense attorneys. Perry Stein, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2023 The Board of Port Commissioners, citing the HR Law Consultants investigation and the Best Best & Krieger findings, formally reprimanded Naranjo for misconduct on Tuesday. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Oct. 2023 Kaplan reprimanded him and ordered him to stop logging into a VPN. Ben Weiss, Fortune Crypto, 28 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reprimand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



French réprimande, from Latin reprimenda, feminine of reprimendus, gerundive of reprimere to check — more at repress

First Known Use


1636, in the meaning defined above


1681, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reprimand was in 1636

Dictionary Entries Near reprimand

Cite this Entry

“Reprimand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
rep·​ri·​mand ˈrep-rə-ˌmand How to pronounce reprimand (audio)
: a severe or formal criticism


2 of 2 verb
: to criticize (a person) severely especially from a position of authority

More from Merriam-Webster on reprimand

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