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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb rebuke contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of rebuke are admonish, chide, reprimand, reproach, and reprove. While all these words mean "to criticize adversely," rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof.

the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics

When is it sensible to use admonish instead of rebuke?

While in some cases nearly identical to rebuke, admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel.

admonished by my parents to control expenses

When would reprimand be a good substitute for rebuke?

The words reprimand and rebuke can be used in similar contexts, but reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke.

reprimanded by the ethics committee

How do reproach and chide relate to one another, in the sense of rebuke?

Both reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild reproof or scolding.

reproached him for tardiness
chided by their mother for untidiness

In what contexts can reprove take the place of rebuke?

Although the words reprove and rebuke have much in common, reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault.

gently reproved my table manners

Thesaurus Entries Near rebuke

Cite this Entry

“Rebuke.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

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