crit·​i·​cize | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce criticize (audio) \
criticized; criticizing

Definition of criticize

intransitive verb

: to act as a critic

transitive verb

1 : to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate He asked me to criticize his drawings.
2 : to find fault with : point out the faults of His boss criticized him for his sloppy work.

Other Words from criticize

criticizable \ ˈkri-​tə-​ˌsī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce criticize (audio) \ adjective
criticizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for criticize



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for criticize

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly. criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions. criticized the police for using violence reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking. reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding. a Senator formally censured by his peers reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction. reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment. condemned the government's racial policies denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration. a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

Examples of criticize in a Sentence

His boss criticized him for his sloppy work habits. The judge was widely criticized for his verdict. The editor criticized the author's work as trite. It seems as though all he ever does is criticize.
Recent Examples on the Web Johnson used his 35-minute speech to criticize how the federal government handled the coronavirus pandemic. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 May 2022 The prospective Twitter owner has repeatedly taken to the platform to criticize executives, eliciting strong reactions from current Twitter employees. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 18 May 2022 The McCain campaign used Durant as an attack dog to criticize Obama’s decision to cancel a visit to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany to visit wounded troops there. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 15 May 2022 Republicans have seized on higher costs to criticize Biden's domestic agenda while the White House is pinning the problem on supply chain issues, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Byalexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 10 May 2022 In fact, for those who want to criticize, please stop whining, and form a short line to the left. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2022 He was described by supporters as a pro-life Christian and successful businessman who is not afraid to criticize Blumenthal. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 7 May 2022 Remarkably, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has declined to criticize the Ruth Sent Us intimidation tactics. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 6 May 2022 The reluctance to criticize egregious misbehavior such as this week's Supreme Court leak is awful politics and even worse civics. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criticize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of criticize

1643, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for criticize

critic entry 1 + -ize

Learn More About criticize

Time Traveler for criticize

Time Traveler

The first known use of criticize was in 1643

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near criticize




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for criticize

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Criticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for criticize


crit·​i·​cize | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce criticize (audio) \
criticized; criticizing

Kids Definition of criticize

1 : to examine and judge
2 : to find fault with

More from Merriam-Webster on criticize

Nglish: Translation of criticize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of criticize for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!