\ ˈskōld How to pronounce scold (audio) \
scolded; scolding; scolds

Definition of scold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to censure usually severely or angrily : rebuke

intransitive verb

1 : to find fault noisily or angrily
2 obsolete : to quarrel noisily



Definition of scold (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one who scolds habitually or persistently
b dated, sometimes offensive : a woman who disturbs the public peace by noisy and quarrelsome or abusive behavior
2 : scolding

Other Words from scold


scolder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scold


scold, upbraid, berate, rail, revile, vituperate mean to reproach angrily and abusively. scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly. angrily scolding the children upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds. upbraided her assistants for poor research berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding. berated continually by an overbearing boss rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating. railed loudly at their insolence revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred. an alleged killer reviled in the press vituperate suggests a violent reviling. was vituperated for betraying his friends

Examples of scold in a Sentence

Verb “You should never have done that,” she scolded. he scolded the kids for not cleaning up the mess they had made in the kitchen Noun He can be a bit of a scold sometimes.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ashamed of her addictions and of her descent into middle age, Millay used her diaries to scold herself. Maggie Doherty, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Below, a list of the best Mother’s day gifts for moms who grill, bake, sip tea with abandon, shake a mean mezcal margarita, or scold you for not rinsing the rice three times. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 22 Apr. 2022 At which point, the flight attendant will probably scold him for you, and possibly even reseat you. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2022 Guards with loudspeakers are quick to scold the noncompliant. New York Times, 17 Jan. 2022 That doesn’t mean owners should scold their dogs, but instead, train them to settle down on command so that when a storm comes, the dog knows what to do. Fiza Pirani, ajc, 3 May 2021 At least once an episode, the show's male announcer would scold Elizabeth for her latest shenanigans. Kristen Baldwin,, 31 Dec. 2021 Berrera-Kearns chimed in to scold Naessens on his usage of the word — while using it herself. Jessica Wang,, 30 Dec. 2021 Marquis's mother called the police, but when Marquis returned, her mother didn't scold. The Week Staff, The Week, 5 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Don’t be a scold, don’t be a moaner, don’t be a finger-wagging elitist, don’t be an eco-bore, don’t be a mentally ill homeless guy. James Parker, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 His showdowns with the head of the local diocese, played as a puckish scold by Malcolm McDowell, are some of the best in the film. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 12 Apr. 2022 When Roger Goodell suspended Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for at least one full season for betting on NFL games, the commissioner was very careful with the wording of his official scold. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Mar. 2022 Bozell, who plays a media scold on television, has written a book that despite its subtitle is neither dogmatic nor even thematic. Neal B. Freeman, National Review, 6 Jan. 2022 This is tricky to pull off, though, without turning into exactly the kind of scold that sitcoms have been mocking since time immemorial. Jeva Lange, The Week, 11 June 2021 Dude, Daniel is now married to chief scold Amanda LaRusso. Cydney Lee, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 Dude, Daniel is now married to chief scold Amanda LaRusso. Cydney Lee, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 Dude, Daniel is now married to chief scold Amanda LaRusso. Cydney Lee, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of scold


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for scold


Middle English scald, scold, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skāld poet, skald, Icelandic skālda to make scurrilous verse

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Time Traveler for scold

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The first known use of scold was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near scold



scold's bridle

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scold


\ ˈskōld How to pronounce scold (audio) \
scolded; scolding

Kids Definition of scold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to find fault with or criticize in an angry way Claudia … scolded him about the need to eat properly.— E. L. Konigsburg, From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Other Words from scold

scolding noun



Kids Definition of scold (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who frequently criticizes and blames

More from Merriam-Webster on scold

Nglish: Translation of scold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scold for Arabic Speakers


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