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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb scold differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of scold are berate, rail, revile, upbraid, and vituperate. While all these words mean "to reproach angrily and abusively," scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly.

angrily scolding the children

When would berate be a good substitute for scold?

The meanings of berate and scold largely overlap; however, berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding.

berated continually by an overbearing boss

When can rail be used instead of scold?

The words rail and scold are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating.

railed loudly at their insolence

When is revile a more appropriate choice than scold?

The synonyms revile and scold are sometimes interchangeable, but revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred.

an alleged killer reviled in the press

When could upbraid be used to replace scold?

While the synonyms upbraid and scold are close in meaning, upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds.

upbraided her assistants for poor research

Where would vituperate be a reasonable alternative to scold?

While in some cases nearly identical to scold, vituperate suggests a violent reviling.

was vituperated for betraying his friends

Thesaurus Entries Near scold

Cite this Entry

“Scold.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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