up·​braid | \ ˌəp-ˈbrād How to pronounce upbraid (audio) \
upbraided; upbraiding; upbraids

Definition of upbraid

transitive verb

1 : to criticize severely : find fault with
2 : to reproach severely : scold vehemently

Other Words from upbraid

upbraider noun

Choose the Right Synonym for upbraid

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

Did you know?

Upbraid, scold, and berate all mean to reproach angrily, but with slight differences in emphasis. Scold usually implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper, either justly or unjustly. Upbraid tends to suggest censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds, while berate implies scolding that is prolonged and even abusive. If you're looking for a more colorful term for telling someone off, try tongue-lash, bawl out, chew out, or wig—all of which are fairly close synonyms of berate. Among these synonyms, upbraid is the senior member in English, being older than the others by at least 100 years. Upbraid derives via Middle English from the Old English ūpbregdan, believed to be formed from a prefix meaning "up" and the verb bregdan, meaning "to snatch" or "to move suddenly."

Examples of upbraid in a Sentence

his wife upbraided him for his irresponsible handling of the family finances
Recent Examples on the Web The National Covid Memorial Wall, which the campaigners expect to clean away at some stage, is an attempt both to remember the dead and to upbraid the living. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2021 Yet far from celebrating these attempts to do what many schools won’t, the nation’s scolds have apparently decided this a good time to upbraid and obstruct parents who dare to do more than sit and fret. Matthew Rice, National Review, 20 Aug. 2020 Indeed, the day after Pierson’s testimony, the president upbraided Coats’s successor, Joseph Maguire, for Pierson’s assessment. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, 11 May 2020 Malaparte is particularly pained by other people’s poor taste in clothes, and even has an anecdote about being dragged before Mussolini himself and upbraided for gossiping about Il Duce’s neckties. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2020 But Chisholm is also upbraided by Martindale’s Abzug, who insists that the women’s movement can’t afford to alienate male allies. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 17 Apr. 2020 Modly resigned Tuesday, shortly after taking a 35-hour trip to the USS Theodore Roosevelt and upbraiding the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. NBC News, 9 Apr. 2020 Liz recalls being upbraided on a panel by the other directors (all of them male) for using the drops instead of getting her actors to recall past feelings, Method-style. David Gordon, Harper's magazine, 6 Jan. 2020 Biden and others, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., upbraided the tech giant for essentially profiting off a form of disinformation. Anchorage Daily News, 23 Oct. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of upbraid

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for upbraid

Middle English upbreyden, from Old English ūpbregdan, probably from ūp up + bregdan to snatch, move suddenly — more at braid

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

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Cite this Entry

“Upbraid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upbraid. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for upbraid


up·​braid | \ ˌəp-ˈbrād How to pronounce upbraid (audio) \
upbraided; upbraiding

Kids Definition of upbraid

: to criticize or scold severely

More from Merriam-Webster on upbraid

Nglish: Translation of upbraid for Spanish Speakers


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