Definition of scold in English:



  • Remonstrate with or rebuke (someone) angrily.

    ‘Mum took Anna away, scolding her for her bad behaviour’
    • ‘"Friends, not cronies, " her mom scolded lightly.’
    • ‘I silently scolded Leah for being so careless and went to turn it off.’
    • ‘I mentally scolded myself for being so foolish, for getting so carried away.’
    • ‘"Oh shush, " his mother scolded him before pointing at his food.’
    • ‘"Leave her alone, Georgina, " my father had scolded my mother.’
    • ‘"Yeah, pretty boy, I got that, " she lightly scolded.’
    • ‘During Geometry classes they talked non-stop and were scolded by the teacher from time to time about their excessive talking.’
    • ‘He is scolding his daughter for not turning up to school.’
    • ‘I scold him just before he brings the lighter to the tip.’
    • ‘I was surprised not to hear my mother's voice scolding the maid.’
    • ‘My daughter will scold me if I swear in front of her though, so she's keeping me in line.’
    • ‘Likewise, if one scolds a person too much, then he can't handle things well as expected.’
    • ‘My father scolded me and instead told Holly to just take her time deciding.’
    • ‘The cow, forgetting about me for the moment, turned, purple with fury, to scold the person in question.’
    • ‘Children are rarely scolded, though rowdiness is sometimes criticized.’
    • ‘I remember two years ago when I was scolded by three teachers in school.’
    • ‘His wife was shaking a customer's hand and laughing graciously, before gently scolding the children.’
    • ‘My mother was usually present too, and I remember her soft voice always gently reprimanding me for being too rough, or quietly scolding my sister for complaining too much.’
    • ‘With his hands on his hips, he looked like a mother scolding a child.’
    • ‘"I don't know why you've gone and told me all this, " the woman scolded angrily.’
    rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reproof, admonishment, admonition, reproval, remonstration, lecture, upbraiding, castigation, lambasting, criticism, censure
    telling-off, rap, rap over the knuckles, dressing-down, earful, roasting, bawling-out, caning, blast, row
    ticking off, carpeting, rollicking, wigging
    rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reprove, admonish, remonstrate with, chastise, chide, upbraid, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the riot act, give someone a piece of one's mind, go on at, haul over the coals, 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, let someone have it, send someone away with a flea in their ear, 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, monster, 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, take to the woodshed
    bollock, give someone a bollocking
    chew someone's ass, ream someone's ass
    call down, rate, give someone a rating, trim
    reprehend, objurgate
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  • A woman who nags or grumbles constantly.

    ‘she was a scold—whenever she was near him he felt in the wrong’
    • ‘These scolds may defy common sense, but they're still worthy of attention because they represent the consensus among the profession's elite.’
    • ‘It may not be as bad as some lifestyle scolds make it out to be.’
    • ‘Surely, they must be the most uncomfortable garment ever invented, this side of a scold's bridle.’
    • ‘The Taming of the Shrew recalls a tradition of stories about scolds.’
    • ‘Yet people short on money often neglect the advice of the professional scolds and instead turn to the damnable moneylenders.’
    nag, nagger, shrew, fishwife, harpy, termagant, harridan
    complainer, moaner, grumbler, fault-finder, carper
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Middle English (as a noun): probably from Old Norse skáld skald.