lam·​baste (ˌ)lam-ˈbāst How to pronounce lambaste (audio) -ˈbast How to pronounce lambaste (audio)
variants or lambast
lambasted; lambasting; lambastes or lambasts

transitive verb

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

Did you know?

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 The Rolling Stone founder was widely lambasted following an interview with The New York Times about his book The Masters, which didn’t include interviews with women or Black artists. Joe Lynch, Billboard, 28 Sep. 2023 Echoing critiques made by Bowser, GOP committee members lambasted Graves for data that showed his office last year had opted not to prosecute 67 percent of people arrested in cases that would have been handled in D.C. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 Most of those tweets lambasted the Department of Justice and other investigations into Trump. Leah Askarinam, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 The decision has rankled many across the baseball world, with several notable broadcasters lambasting the Orioles, MASN and chairman John Angelos on social media and live television. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 8 Aug. 2023 While Republicans continue to lambaste Harris, some Democrats are concerned about Mr. Biden's age: A Wall Street Journal poll found two-thirds of Democrats said the president is too old to run again. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 7 Sep. 2023 Critics lambasted him for letting the detective off easy. Hanna Krueger,, 6 Sep. 2023 Demonstrators showed up to a South Barrington Park District board meeting Wednesday night, first protesting outside the community center where the meeting was held, then going inside as proceedings started, and lambasted commissioners over a recent attempt to sell a parcel of land to a church. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2023 Montero was among the public figures who lambasted Rubiales. Time, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lambaste.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from lam entry 1 + baste

First Known Use

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lambaste was in 1620


Dictionary Entries Near lambaste

Cite this Entry

“Lambaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or lambast
lambasted; lambasting
: to scold roughly

More from Merriam-Webster on lambaste

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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