V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


noun, verb

Definition: (n.) criticism or censure; (v.) to criticize or reprimand someone in a sharp, strict manner

Synonyms: (n.) reprimand, censure, scolding, (v.) admonish, blame, criticize, berate, censure, reprove

Antonyms: compliment, praise, reward

Tips: Rebuke is derived from the Anglo-French rebuker, which means "beat back, repel." When you rebuke people, you beat and repel them with speech. Rebuke is related to berate, reprimand, and admonish. Rebuke is different from berate and reprimand in that rebuke has a noun usage as well as a verb usage. Rebuke is used more to denote "telling someone off" and usually involves criticizing someone sharply. If you berate someone, you scold the person in a very sharp and often lengthy manner. If you admonish someone, you scold the person mildly and usually advise him or her not to do something in the future. For example, you would admonish a child for not looking before he or she crossed a street. Finally reprimand is synonymous with rebuke in both the verb and noun form. Its origin comes from a Latin word that means "to suppress." Both rebuke and reprimand can be used interchangeably to describe "telling someone off" or sharply criticizing someone.

Usage Examples:

Initially, she wanted rebuke her daughter for drawing on the walls, but then she realized shouldn't be so harsh, so she admonished her instead. (reprimand, criticize) verb

The public rebuke from her boss was the last straw, and she immediately quit. (censure, scolding) noun

His mother rebuked him for missing his curfew again. (reproved, reprimanded) verb

You were pretty harsh on him when you rebuked him just now. (scolded, berated) verb

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