Synonym Chooser

How does the verb criticize differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of criticize are censure, condemn, denounce, reprehend, and reprobate. While all these words mean "to find fault with openly," criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions.

criticized the police for using violence

Where would censure be a reasonable alternative to criticize?

In some situations, the words censure and criticize are roughly equivalent. However, censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding.

a Senator formally censured by his peers

When might condemn be a better fit than criticize?

While the synonyms condemn and criticize are close in meaning, condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment.

condemned the government's racial policies

How are the words denounce and condemn related as synonyms of criticize?

Denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration.

a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

When is it sensible to use reprehend instead of criticize?

Although the words reprehend and criticize have much in common, reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking.

reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students

When could reprobate be used to replace criticize?

The synonyms reprobate and criticize are sometimes interchangeable, but reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction.

reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle

Thesaurus Entries Near criticize

Cite this Entry

“Criticize.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on criticize

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