verb re·prove \ ri-ˈprüv \
Updated on: 8 Mar 2018

Definition of reprove

reproved; reproving
1 : to scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent
2 : to express disapproval of : censure
  • it is not for me to reprove popular taste
  • —D. W. Brogan
3 obsolete : disprove, refute
4 obsolete : convince, convict
: to express rebuke or reproof




play \ri-ˈprü-viŋ-lē\ adverb

reprove was our Word of the Day on 02/10/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of reprove in a Sentence

  1. The teacher reproved the student for being late.

  2. my piano teacher often reproves me for slouching while playing, observing that good posture helps one play better

Recent Examples of reprove from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of reprove

Middle English repreven, reproven, from Anglo-French reprover, from Late Latin reprobare to disapprove, condemn, from Latin re- + probare to test, approve — more at prove

Synonym Discussion of reprove

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

REPROVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of reprove for English Language Learners

  • : to criticize or correct (someone) usually in a gentle way

REPROVE Defined for Kids


verb re·prove \ ri-ˈprüv \

Definition of reprove for Students

reproved; reproving
: to express blame or disapproval of : scold
  • No one reproved him because he had disobeyed …
  • —Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain

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