Definition of reprimand in English:



  • A formal expression of disapproval.

    ‘the golfer received a reprimand for a breach of rules’
    • ‘He could avoid expulsion and imprisonment if the full 435-member House decides to enforce censure, a reprimand or fines.’
    • ‘The probe is being run parallel to a provincial government investigation, which resulted in six workers at the Ministry of Natural Resources being sacked and 187 others getting reprimands.’
    • ‘Sanctions for violating the Circular include a private reprimand, censure, suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS.’
    • ‘Among other unfair treatments she made him mop the floor and issued formal warnings for relatively minor offences for which female employees received mild, informal reprimands.’
    • ‘Agency leaders confirming this with Congress each year generally can avoid anything stronger than a verbal reprimand about their job performance, no matter how dismal security really is back home.’
    • ‘The Irish position has caused resentment among our partners, which was partly responsible for the reprimand of Minister McCreevey by his EU colleagues at the ECOFIN meeting.’
    • ‘Analysts have interpreted the letter as a veiled reprimand to the United States.’
    • ‘Eighteen others received letters of reprimand and are likely to be suspended without pay for periods of five to 45 days depending on their level of involvement, the Agency said.’
    • ‘The PCEC determined that Bill had breached Bylaw 311, but recommended only an anonymous reprimand since he had taken steps to remedy the problem as soon as he'd become aware of the bylaw.’
    • ‘It should also be noted that Harper bravely made those statements outside of the House of Commons because he would receive a severe reprimand for using unparliamentary language.’
    • ‘It's against the gentlemanly rules to run a business from Parliament and so an unofficial reprimand was dished out.’
    • ‘His behavior, which did not go unnoticed, became the subject of a formal reprimand by the Cliburn Foundation chairman.’
    • ‘They both received a written reprimand and were ordered to pay significant costs.’
    rebuke, reproof, admonishment, admonition, reproach, reproval, scolding, remonstration, upbraiding, castigation, lambasting, lecture, criticism, censure
    telling-off, rap, rap over the knuckles, slap on the wrist, flea in one's ear, dressing-down, earful, roasting, tongue-lashing, bawling-out, caning, blast
    ticking off, carpeting, wigging, rollicking, rocket, row
    View synonyms


  • Address a reprimand to.

    ‘officials were reprimanded for poor work’
    • ‘A Northampton company was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority after it used scare tactics to sell anti-radiation mobile phone products.’
    • ‘A number of the officers who were found guilty in civil cases of abuse against me are still on patrol and none have to my knowledge been reprimanded in any way.’
    • ‘Aside from having the charges against him dropped, Cowpland was going to be reprimanded and barred from being a company director for two years.’
    • ‘Carol is constantly being reprimanded for her childishly irresponsible antics by her disapproving child, Denise.’
    • ‘The accountancy firm was reprimanded regarding its audit of that company.’
    • ‘The advertising watchdog has reprimanded a company for sending an offensive text message calling for consumers to upgrade their mobile phone.’
    • ‘Although the female operatives were initially encouraged to work as they pleased, they were quickly reprimanded for talking too much.’
    • ‘A spokeswoman for Tiscali UK added that the moderator at the centre of the incident would be reprimanded.’
    • ‘It was noisy, hot and vast - so vast I often got lost and was reprimanded for skiving off.’
    • ‘He came to the attention of the authorities only because, returning one day from hunting, he had shot a tame bird; reprimanded by a bystander, he replied that if the man would only stay while he charged his piece, he would shoot him too.’
    • ‘If a complaint is upheld, the society may reprimand the solicitor in writing or ask its disciplinary tribunal to consider an allegation of misconduct.’
    • ‘However, Universal Studios is hereby reprimanded for pulling a fast one on its audience with another schlocky full-frame presentation.’
    • ‘The insurance industry, which has been publicly reprimanded over rising premiums, has indicated that its risk strategy will be based on a government review of flood risk areas.’
    • ‘In 1932 the cast would have been severely reprimanded backstage afterwards - and worse!’
    • ‘Things go from bad to worse as Nick returns to the stall moaning about being reprimanded by a security guard for handing out flyers.’
    • ‘Last year, a major accountancy firm was reprimanded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland for carrying out a sub-standard audit.’
    • ‘Solicitors who breach the rules may be reprimanded or charged with misconduct.’
    • ‘The council has the authority to ‘uphold complaints’, where it issues a statement reprimanding the broadcaster.’
    rebuke, admonish, chastise, chide, upbraid, reprove, reproach, scold, remonstrate with, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the riot act, give someone a piece of one's mind, haul over the coals, lecture, criticize, censure
    tell off, give someone a talking-to, give someone a telling-off, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, give someone a rocket, give someone a rollicking, rap, rap over the knuckles, slap someone's wrist, send someone away with a flea in their ear, let someone have it, bawl out, give someone hell, come down on, blow up, pitch into, lay into, lace into, give someone a caning, put on the mat, slap down, blast, rag, keelhaul
    tick off, have a go at, carpet, give someone a mouthful, tear someone off a strip, give someone what for, give someone some stick, wig, give someone a wigging, give someone a row, row
    chew out, ream out
    bollock, give someone a bollocking
    chew someone's ass, ream someone's ass
    call down, rate, give someone a rating, trim
    reprehend, objurgate
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from French réprimande, via Spanish from Latin reprimenda, things to be held in check, neuter plural gerundive of reprimere (see repress).