reprove

verb

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

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 tasteD. W. Brogan
3
obsolete : disprove, refute
4
obsolete : convince, convict

intransitive verb

: to express rebuke or reproof
reprover noun
reprovingly adverb

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").

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

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 Both films reprove today’s lack of soul-searching — that’s our real existential crisis. Armond White, National Review, 11 Oct. 2023 In the early 2000s, Latter-day Saints were learning via social media about controversial elements of their faith’s past — including details about polygamy provided by the scholars, like Quinn, who were reproved by the church. Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Sep. 2023 Her question drew reproving looks and boos from the crowd. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 15 July 2023 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, chicagotribune.com, 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reprove.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near reprove

Cite this Entry

“Reprove.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reprove. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

reprove

verb
re·​prove ri-ˈprüv How to pronounce reprove (audio)
reproved; reproving
1
: to scold or correct usually in a gentle way
reprove a tardy student
2
: to express disapproval of
reprove a fault

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