self-re·​proach ˌself-ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce self-reproach (audio)
plural self-reproaches
: harsh criticism or disapproval of oneself especially for wrongdoing
feelings of self-reproach
When she reached home she went to bed, spent with the tumult of her emotions and sick with shame and self-reproach.William Dean Howells
also : an instance or expression of self-reproach
… I was greatly pained and made many self-reproaches for not having written to you for so long a time … Thomas De Quincey

Examples of self-reproach in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jihan was overtaken by bitterness and self-reproach. Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 Photo: andrew caballero-reynolds/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Festivus has its airing of grievances and the 2024 Democratic National Convention in August may feature the wailing of self-reproach. James Freeman, WSJ, 26 Dec. 2023 One of the many poignant aspects of Nick’s early death is that his friends have carried a lifelong sense of regret and even self-reproach. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 18 Dec. 2023 For an artist, self-reproach and self-aggrandizement can be two faces of the same mirror. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 30 Nov. 2023 The genre is like a psychological tattoo on a culture that has lost faith in itself — like the bourgeois self-reproach in Yazmina Reza’s puerile God of Carnage that Roman Polanski filmed. Armond White, National Review, 29 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-reproach.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1753, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-reproach was in 1753

Dictionary Entries Near self-reproach

Cite this Entry

“Self-reproach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the act of blaming or accusing oneself
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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