Definition of rap someone on (or over) the knuckles in US English:

rap someone on (or over) the knuckles


  • Rebuke or criticize someone.

    • ‘Standard Life has been rapped over the knuckles by the Financial Ombudsman for turning down claims by policyholders who got their weight wrong on application forms.’
    • ‘He is incensed about the November 2 announcement of a proposed antitrust settlement that he thinks barely raps them on the knuckles.’
    • ‘Separately, Byrne was rapped on the knuckles by the Dublin District Court for holding illegal teenage discos in the West Stand.’
    • ‘But the regulator also rapped her over the knuckles about inefficiencies at Dublin and Shannon airports.’
    • ‘Meanwhile City were rapped over the knuckles by the FA yesterday at a hearing into the melee during the Preston game on September 13.’
    • ‘One observer said: ‘If they did rap Fisher over the knuckles then no one got to know about it.’’
    • ‘Health chiefs have been rapped on the knuckles after deciding to axe services at a Bishopstoke hospital a year earlier than planned.’
    • ‘Mayo County Council has been rapped on the knuckles by An Bord Pleanála for failing to provide adequate services to areas which have the potential to be properly developed.’
    • ‘When should the profession rap them over the knuckles, and when should they permanently show them the door?’
    • ‘Probably someone was rapped over the knuckles for not observing the difference between the two concepts.’
    criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
    criticism, censure, rebuke, admonition, admonishment, reprimand, reproval
    rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reproof, admonishment, admonition, reproval, remonstration, lecture, upbraiding, castigation, lambasting, criticism, censure
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