reproach

1 of 2

noun

re·​proach ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio)
1
: an expression of rebuke or disapproval
2
: the act or action of reproaching or disapproving
was beyond reproach
3
a
: a cause or occasion of blame, discredit, or disgrace
4
obsolete : one subjected to censure or scorn
reproachful adjective
reproachfully adverb
reproachfulness noun

reproach

2 of 2

verb

re·​proach ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio)
reproached; reproaching; reproaches

transitive verb

1
: to express disappointment in or displeasure with (a person) for conduct that is blameworthy or in need of amendment
2
: to make (something) a matter of reproach
3
: to bring into discredit
reproachable adjective
reproacher noun
reproachingly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for reproach

reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, chide mean to criticize adversely.

reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault.

gently reproved my table manners

rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof.

the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics

reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke.

reprimanded by the ethics committee

admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel.

admonished by my parents to control expenses

reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild reproof or scolding.

reproached him for tardiness
chided by their mother for untidiness

Example Sentences

Noun A bug in the logic of a design, though discovered and fixed in the lab, stands as a slight reproach to the designer. Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine, 1981 Yes, he told them, when he came, it was quite true that they would have to pay interest. And then Teta Elzbieta broke forth into protestations and reproaches, so that the people outside stopped and peered in at the window. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906 "He's the finest boy in England," the father said in a tone of reproach to her, "and you don't seem to care for him, Becky, as much as you do for your spaniel.  … " William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1847 She looked at him with reproach. Accusations and reproaches from both parties made it difficult to pursue discussions. His conduct has brought shame and reproach to his family. Verb Parents and teachers gaped at the young writers, uncertain whether to reproach or praise these young adults for their language in writing about decidedly adult issues. Tobi Jacobi, English Journal, March 2007 For years I fretted over these questions and reproached myself for not having taken that diary when it was offered to me in 1945. John Hope Franklin, Race and History, 1989 She did not reproach herself with her failure; but she would have been happier if there had been less discrepancy between her words to Sophy Viner and the act which had followed them. Edith Wharton, The Reef, 1912 our neighbor loudly reproached us for tromping through his yard she cleared her throat as a way of reproaching us for having our elbows on the table See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Until last week, their reputation for all of the above was widely acknowledged as beyond reproach. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 3 Nov. 2022 Parks knew that the NAACP needed to find the right plaintiff in order to file a successful lawsuit, ideally a sympathetic woman who was beyond reproach. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 19 Oct. 2022 But the mood in the room was downbeat and his friends’ questions were full of reproach. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Reporters known to be beyond reproach, often honored internationally for their ethics and bravery, started turning up dead: Regina Martínez in 2012, and Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdéz in 2017 among the more infamous cases. Time, 3 Oct. 2022 In the final image of Sassoon’s conflicted regrets and desires, Lowden achieves a nearly palpable realization of self-reproach and forgiveness. Armond White, National Review, 3 June 2022 Justin Herbert is beyond reproach at this stage of his career, his individual achievements sparing him from blame of the Chargers’ collective failures. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2022 Many of our employees never left the workplace and our track record supporting our employees' well-being and health throughout the pandemic has been beyond reproach. CBS News, 4 Sep. 2022 Nation/World KYIV, Ukraine — Until this week, Ukrainians seemed to see President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as beyond reproach, a national hero who stayed in Kyiv despite the risk to his personal safety to lead his country against invading Russian troops. Liz Sly, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Aug. 2022
Verb
The failure to reproach Nebenzya for his near daily false claims is yet another way the U.N.'s credibility has taken a hit during the crisis, according to some critics. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 5 Apr. 2022 The European countries that had seen fit to reproach Russia over the war had now moved on. New York Times, 16 Jan. 2022 This was not the moment to reproach the sailor deputies, though, or even to devise a punishment. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, National Review, 12 Oct. 2021 In addition to employing targeted and national sanctions, democratic countries have other ways to reproach states that violate international law. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, 22 Apr. 2021 In addition to targeted and national sanctions, democratic countries have other ways to reproach states that violate international law. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, 7 Apr. 2021 Parents reproach their children for failing to supply a polite answer instead of the real one. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2021 But while aggression in women remains suspect, the public is drawn, now more than ever, to girls who reproach and rebuke, calling the world to account for its ills — and girls in turn are learning to harness that public gaze to effect larger change. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2020 His oppressive trainer reproaches him for being too soft, too feminine. David Kortava, The New Yorker, 5 June 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English reproche, from Anglo-French, from reprocher to reproach, from Vulgar Latin *repropiare to bring close, show, from Latin re- + prope near — more at approach

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near reproach

Cite this Entry

“Reproach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reproach. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

reproach 1 of 2

noun

re·​proach ri-ˈprōch How to pronounce reproach (audio)
1
a
: something that deserves blame or disgrace
their dirty yard is a reproach to the whole street
b
: loss of reputation : disgrace
2
: the act or action of disapproving
was beyond reproach
3
: an expression of disapproval
reproachful adjective
reproachfully adverb
reproachfulness noun

reproach

2 of 2

verb

: to find fault with : blame
reproached him for his cowardice
reproachable adjective
reproacher noun
reproachingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on reproach

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