lam·​baste | \ (ˌ)lam-ˈbāst How to pronounce lambaste (audio) , -ˈbast; ˈlam-ˌbāst, -ˌbast How to pronounce lambaste (audio) \
variants: or lambast
lambasted; lambasting; lambastes or lambasts

Definition of lambaste

transitive verb

1 : to assault violently : beat, whip
2 : to attack verbally : censure critics lambasted his performance

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The origins of lambaste are somewhat uncertain, but the word was most likely formed by combining the verbs lam and baste, both of which mean "to beat severely." (The baste functioning here is unrelated to either the sewing or cooking one.) (Incidentally, lambaste can also be spelled lambast, despite the modern spelling of the verb baste.) Some other synonyms of lambaste include pummel, thrash, and pound. Pummel suggests beating with one's fists ("the boxer ruthlessly pummeled his opponent"). Pound also suggests heavy blows, though perhaps not quite so much as pummel, and may imply a continuous rain of blows ("she pounded on the door"). Thrash means to strike repeatedly and thoroughly as if with a whip and is often used figuratively to mean "to defeat decisively or severely" ("the team thrashed their opponent 44-0").

Examples of lambaste in a Sentence

The coach lambasted the team for its poor play. They wrote several letters lambasting the new law.
Recent Examples on the Web Former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro used the occasion to lambaste AFPI publicly as a nest of infidels. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 19 Sep. 2022 Some dedicated users have continued to lambaste Heard while lauding Depp. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, 1 Aug. 2022 Judge Bruce Schroeder suddenly halted the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during unrest in Kenosha, Wis., last year, to lambaste the chief prosecutor on Wednesday. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 Cruz has joked at least three times about the trip, largely as an effort to lambaste high-profile Democrats for taking vacation. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 30 Nov. 2021 The most progressive migrant advocates lambaste him as too hard. Manuel Roig-franzia, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2021 Quote tweeting, however, is still active, and allowed for critics to lambaste Twitter for censoring an obituary. Fox News, 3 Oct. 2021 Not to be outdone, Republican governors went to the southern border Wednesday to lambaste the President on the flood of immigrants at the border. Joe Lockhart, CNN, 6 Oct. 2021 Eric Clapton appears to lyrically lambaste the world’s response to COVID-19 with a new song. al, 30 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of lambaste

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lambaste

probably from lam entry 1 + baste

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The first known use of lambaste was in 1620

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lambaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lambaste

Nglish: Translation of lambaste for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lambaste for Arabic Speakers


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