Thesaurus

reproach

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of reproach

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a cause of shame
  • your public display of boorish behavior is a reproach to this entire school

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3 the state of having lost the esteem of others
  • nothing the traitor did in later life lessened the reproach in which he was universally held

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reproach

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of reproach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to criticize (someone) severely or angrily especially for personal failings
  • our neighbor loudly reproached us for tromping through his yard

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2 to criticize (someone) usually gently so as to correct a fault
  • she cleared her throat as a way of reproaching us for having our elbows on the table

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3 to express public or formal disapproval of
  • the governor reproached the legislature for failing to pass the budget on time and once again throwing the state into fiscal chaos

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About reproach

How does the verb reproach contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of reproach are admonish, chide, rebuke, reprimand, and reprove. While all these words mean "to criticize adversely," 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 admonish take the place of reproach?

While the synonyms admonish and reproach are close in meaning, admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel.

admonished by my parents to control expenses

When can rebuke be used instead of reproach?

The words rebuke and reproach are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof.

the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics

When could reprimand be used to replace reproach?

Although the words reprimand and reproach have much in common, reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke.

reprimanded by the ethics committee

Where would reprove be a reasonable alternative to reproach?

In some situations, the words reprove and reproach are roughly equivalent. However, reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault.

gently reproved my table manners

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Time Traveler for reproach

Time Traveler

The first known use of reproach was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Reproach.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/reproach. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reproach

Dictionary: Definition of reproach

Nglish: Translation of reproach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reproach for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reproach

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