scath·​ing | \ ˈskā-ṯẖiŋ \

Definition of scathing

: bitterly severe a scathing condemnation

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Other Words from scathing

scathingly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for scathing

caustic, mordant, acrid, scathing mean stingingly incisive. caustic suggests a biting wit. caustic comments mordant suggests a wit that is used with deadly effectiveness. mordant reviews of the play acrid implies bitterness and often malevolence. acrid invective scathing implies indignant attacks delivered with fierce severity. a scathing satire

Examples of scathing in a Sentence

a scathing review of the book a scathing rebuttal of the latest theory concerning the assassination

Recent Examples on the Web

Gennady Golovkin's scathing indictment of Canelo Alvarez and the Nevada Athletic Commission has ratcheted the pressure on the fighter and the organization to race toward transparency. Lance Pugmire,, "Gennady Golovkin to Canelo Alvarez and Nevada: Come clean on test results," 21 Mar. 2018 Dimitar Berbatov has launched a scathing indictment of Kerala Blasters coach David James, calling the former England goalkeeper 'the worst wannabe coach ever'., "Dimitar Berbatov Labels David James 'Worst Wannabe Coach Ever' in Damning Instagram Post," 4 Mar. 2018 Ryan sidestepped commenting on former FBI director James Comey's scathing comments about Trump in a new book. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ryan says Mueller shouldn't be fired by Trump, defends his legacy on 'Meet the Press'," 15 Apr. 2018 Almost immediately, the trailer — viewed more than five million times on YouTube — spurred a #BoycottBeirutMovie hashtag and scathing comments on social media. Sopan Deb, New York Times, "‘Beirut’ Trailer Was Supposed to Thrill. Instead It Offended.," 30 Jan. 2018 And while Golden Globes M.C. Seth Meyers took aim at Trump a couple times during his opening monologue on Sunday, the Late Night host reserved his most scathing comments for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Tierney Mcafee,, "Why Seth Meyers Didn't Skewer Trump at the Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018 The review was prompted by the city’s Department of Investigation releasing a scathing report about the division in March. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Advocates of Sex Assault Survivors Decry Transfer of NYPD’s Special Victims Chief," 17 Nov. 2018 Making a Statement Just like in real life, Harry issued a scathing rebuke of the press and public for their treatment of Meghan. Michele Corriston,, "Prince Harry & Meghan Markle: The Funniest Reactions to Lifetime's Movie About the Royal Couple," 13 May 2018 A day after the congressional elections last week, the special court in Baltimore issued a scathing opinion regarding a U.S. House district drawn in 2011 by Maryland’s Democratic leadership, then-Gov. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Maryland to Appeal Gerrymandering Ruling, Setting Up New Supreme Court Battle," 15 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of scathing

1794, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for scathing

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for scathing

The first known use of scathing was in 1794

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More Definitions for scathing



English Language Learners Definition of scathing

: very harsh or severe

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More from Merriam-Webster on scathing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scathing

Spanish Central: Translation of scathing

Nglish: Translation of scathing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scathing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scathing

What made you want to look up scathing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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