re·​proach | \ ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio) \

Definition of reproach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an expression of rebuke or disapproval
2 : the act or action of reproaching or disapproving was beyond reproach
3a : a cause or occasion of blame, discredit, or disgrace
4 obsolete : one subjected to censure or scorn


re·​proach | \ ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio) \
reproached; reproaching; reproaches

Definition of reproach (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to express disappointment in or displeasure with (a person) for conduct that is blameworthy or in need of amendment
2 : to make (something) a matter of reproach
3 : to bring into discredit

Other Words from reproach


reproachful \ ri-​ˈprōch-​fəl How to pronounce reproach (audio) \ adjective
reproachfully \ ri-​ˈprōch-​fə-​lē How to pronounce reproach (audio) \ adverb
reproachfulness noun


reproachable \ ri-​ˈprō-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce reproach (audio) \ adjective
reproacher noun
reproachingly \ ri-​ˈprō-​chiŋ-​lē How to pronounce reproach (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for reproach


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 reproach in a Sentence

Noun A bug in the logic of a design, though discovered and fixed in the lab, stands as a slight reproach to the designer. — Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine, 1981 Yes, he told them, when he came, it was quite true that they would have to pay interest. And then Teta Elzbieta broke forth into protestations and reproaches, so that the people outside stopped and peered in at the window. — Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906 "He's the finest boy in England," the father said in a tone of reproach to her, "and you don't seem to care for him, Becky, as much as you do for your spaniel.  … " — William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1847 She looked at him with reproach. Accusations and reproaches from both parties made it difficult to pursue discussions. His conduct has brought shame and reproach to his family. Verb Parents and teachers gaped at the young writers, uncertain whether to reproach or praise these young adults for their language in writing about decidedly adult issues. — Tobi Jacobi, English Journal, March 2007 For years I fretted over these questions and reproached myself for not having taken that diary when it was offered to me in 1945. — John Hope Franklin, Race and History, 1989 She did not reproach herself with her failure; but she would have been happier if there had been less discrepancy between her words to Sophy Viner and the act which had followed them. — Edith Wharton, The Reef, 1912 our neighbor loudly reproached us for tromping through his yard she cleared her throat as a way of reproaching us for having our elbows on the table See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each misstep, each momentary lapse in focus, earned a fresh reproach from the sous chef or, before long, a fellow intern. Caitlin Raux Gunther, Bon Appétit, 23 Feb. 2022 Officials said Blaylock portrayed a negative public image and brought reproach upon himself and the San Antonio Fire Department. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Nov. 2021 Presidents and politicians have received their share of blame, but for too long our nation’s military leadership has escaped reproach. Timothy Kudo, The New Republic, 12 July 2021 Unsurprisingly for a Lotus, the Emira's steering is beyond reproach. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 7 June 2022 In contrast to the dominant culture of Silicon Valley, where the standard personal narrative includes one or two episodes of failure on the path to inevitable achievement, Wardle is unusually prone to ambivalence and self-reproach. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 In China, senior party leaders such as Zhang are typically beyond public reproach, even when retired. Helen Regan, CNN, 23 Nov. 2021 If prices keep rising and Democrats keep whiffing, the governor’s race in Virginia might look like a mild reproach compared with the wrath of the voters in elections to come. The Editors, National Review, 11 Nov. 2021 Moral crucibles that upend the lives of everyday people, never above reproach but always deserving of sympathy, are a dramatic propellant for the films of Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi. Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The failure to reproach Nebenzya for his near daily false claims is yet another way the U.N.'s credibility has taken a hit during the crisis, according to some critics. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 5 Apr. 2022 The European countries that had seen fit to reproach Russia over the war had now moved on. New York Times, 16 Jan. 2022 This was not the moment to reproach the sailor deputies, though, or even to devise a punishment. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, National Review, 12 Oct. 2021 In addition to employing targeted and national sanctions, democratic countries have other ways to reproach states that violate international law. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, 22 Apr. 2021 In addition to targeted and national sanctions, democratic countries have other ways to reproach states that violate international law. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, 7 Apr. 2021 Parents reproach their children for failing to supply a polite answer instead of the real one. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2021 But while aggression in women remains suspect, the public is drawn, now more than ever, to girls who reproach and rebuke, calling the world to account for its ills — and girls in turn are learning to harness that public gaze to effect larger change. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2020 His oppressive trainer reproaches him for being too soft, too feminine. David Kortava, The New Yorker, 5 June 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of reproach


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reproach

Noun and Verb

Middle English reproche, from Anglo-French, from reprocher to reproach, from Vulgar Latin *repropiare to bring close, show, from Latin re- + prope near — more at approach

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Time Traveler for reproach

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near reproach



reproach oneself

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Statistics for reproach

Last Updated

22 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reproach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for reproach


re·​proach | \ ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio) \
reproached; reproaching

Kids Definition of reproach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to find fault with : blame I reproached him for such selfishness.



Kids Definition of reproach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that deserves blame or disgrace
2 : an expression of disapproval

Other Words from reproach

reproachful \ -​fəl \ adjective
reproachfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on reproach

Nglish: Translation of reproach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reproach for Arabic Speakers


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