Definition of upbraid in English:



  • Find fault with (someone); scold.

    ‘he was upbraided for his slovenly appearance’
    • ‘Her mother was far more critical than her father, constantly upbraiding her youngest daughter for the intensity and sensitivity she showed.’
    • ‘Elissa scolded him, calling him a coward, and upbraiding him for not showing backbone.’
    • ‘A gentleman upbraids his servant: is it true, he asks him, that you have had the audacity to spread around the idea that your master is stingy?’
    • ‘It's a little ungrateful for Mr. Edwards to now upbraid the man who did so much to make the Senator's own fortune and political career possible.’
    • ‘Professor Galbraith upbraided me yesterday for my suggestion that our sojourns to Geneva be shortened to six weeks.’
    • ‘Back on land where we could sink safely into the snow up to our ankles and giggle at our own bravery, there was an angry woman who didn't speak English, upbraiding us in a way that needed no translation.’
    • ‘When one of her fellow guests turned in his chair to look at her, she angrily broke off from the point she was making, to upbraid him.’
    • ‘And the newspaper is also right to gently upbraid him for the first article this week in his normally excellent notebook, which really is a piece of tripe.’
    • ‘I fled from the scene as fast as I could but nevertheless I could hear my father's voice as he continued to upbraid me until I was out of earshot.’
    • ‘It is not unusual to see a small boy upbraiding his own mother for some act that shows a lack of modesty.’
    • ‘But she was anxious by nature and was forever upbraiding colleagues (mostly me) for turning up late or for writing 250 words on a story when she had asked for 200.’
    • ‘Above all the noise, Margaret could be heard upbraiding her husband - ‘It's your own fault, Ben, you should have picked one of mine!’’
    • ‘In her grief, Alison upbraids Henry: ‘There is none but me to know one thing - that you were a traitor to him in your heart’.’
    • ‘It was the spring before the World Cup in Spain and a man from Madrid sitting behind him joined me in upbraiding him for his behaviour, but my father was having none of it.’
    • ‘I was once upbraided by a musician who heard me talking too enthusiastically about the possibilities provided by new instruments.’
    • ‘The prime minister was upbraided for a governing style which made collective, cabinet responsibility almost impossible: ministers never saw key papers, relying instead on oral briefings.’
    • ‘Oh she played ignorant when I upbraided her, but I suspect she knew exactly what she was doing.’
    • ‘When Hand tries to back out, go home, save some of the cash, Will upbraids him.’
    • ‘She upbraids her mother and brother for caring more about ‘table-cloths and china’ than ‘her father, who was lying there in a sort of living death’.’
    • ‘Clara looked momentarily disconcerted but wasn't about to concede defeat after upbraiding Nicholas a moment before.’
    reprimand, rebuke, reproach, scold, admonish, reprove, remonstrate with, chastise, chide, 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, 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 someone over the knuckles, slap someone's wrist, let someone have it, bawl out, give someone hell, come down on, blow up, pitch into, lay into, lace into, give someone a caning, blast, rag, keelhaul
    tick off, have a go at, carpet, monster, give someone a mouthful, tear someone off a strip, give someone what for, wig, give someone a wigging, row, give someone a 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


Late Old English upbrēdan ‘allege (something) as a basis for censure’, based on braid in the obsolete sense brandish. The current sense dates from Middle English.