Synonyms & Antonyms of berate

to criticize (someone) severely or angrily especially for personal failings
  • there's no need to berate someone for making a mistake during the first day on the job

Synonyms for berate

Words Related to berate

Phrases Synonymous with berate

Near Antonyms for berate

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About berate

How does the verb berate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of berate are rail, revile, scold, upbraid, and vituperate. While all these words mean "to reproach angrily and abusively," berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding.

berated continually by an overbearing boss

When is rail a more appropriate choice than berate?

While in some cases nearly identical to berate, rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating.

railed loudly at their insolence

Where would revile be a reasonable alternative to berate?

In some situations, the words revile and berate are roughly equivalent. However, revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred.

an alleged killer reviled in the press

When could scold be used to replace berate?

The synonyms scold and berate are sometimes interchangeable, but scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly.

angrily scolding the children

When can upbraid be used instead of berate?

The words upbraid and berate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds.

upbraided her assistants for poor research

When would vituperate be a good substitute for berate?

The meanings of vituperate and berate largely overlap; however, vituperate suggests a violent reviling.

was vituperated for betraying his friends

Learn More About berate

Time Traveler for berate

Time Traveler

The first known use of berate was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About berate

Thesaurus Entries Near berate




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Berate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on berate

Nglish: Translation of berate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of berate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!