re·​prove | \ ri-ˈprüv How to pronounce reprove (audio) \
reproved; reproving

Definition of reprove

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to express rebuke or reproof

Other Words from reprove

reprover noun
reprovingly \ ri-​ˈprü-​viŋ-​lē How to pronounce reprove (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Did you know?

Reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, and chide all mean to criticize. Reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault. Rebuke suggests a sharp or stern criticism (as in "In the interview, the candidate sternly rebuked the agendas of those running against her"). Reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke ("He was reprimanded before the ethics committee"). Admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel ("The assistant manager was admonished to control expenses"). Reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild scolding ("The teacher reproached the student for tardiness" and "The child was chided by his nana for untidiness"). Incidentally, the resemblance of reprove to prove is not coincidental—both words can be traced back to the Latin probare ("to test" or "to prove").

Examples of reprove in a Sentence

The teacher reproved the student for being late. my piano teacher often reproves me for slouching while playing, observing that good posture helps one play better
Recent Examples on the Web Until Elliott reproves that, none of those three assumptions should drive Dallas’ game plan. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2019 In lengthy reports released Thursday, the ethics panel reproved Reps. Elise Viebeck,, 23 Mar. 2018 Jack’s shoulders are slumped forward, his arms crossed, while John’s maternal aunt Annie reproves him with an extended finger. Jason Farago, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2018

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.

First Known Use of reprove

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

History and Etymology for 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Reprove.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for reprove


re·​prove | \ ri-ˈprüv How to pronounce reprove (audio) \
reproved; reproving

Kids Definition of reprove

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reprove

Nglish: Translation of reprove for Spanish Speakers


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