berate

Synonym Chooser

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

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Cite this Entry

“Berate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/berate. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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