Definition of reprimand in English:



  • A rebuke, especially an official one.

    • ‘By way of reprimand, Othello was forced to demote Cassio, a severe blow to the high-ranking officer.’
    • ‘Finally, God's absence, reflected in his impossibility to offer neither reprimand nor comfort, is mirrored in a simulation of authorial impotence.’
    • ‘Although one American Eastern Catholic bishop has recently ordained a married man in America without reprimand from the Vatican, most Eastern bishops simply lack the courage to act on what the law clearly permits.’
    • ‘Many believe the admission of shortcomings was in response to Chinese President Hu Jintao's public reprimand of Tung and his ministers last month.’
    • ‘When behavior improves, reprimands may not be necessary any longer.’
    • ‘Still the degree of solidarity expressed by our US friends since last Monday's EU reprimand over Irish budgetary policy was impressive.’
    • ‘Although Mutius's death is horrific in its own right, Rome does not reprimand Titus for his action.’
    • ‘Next port of call is the Council of Ministers where tomorrow evening the commission's recommendation to formally reprimand Ireland will be carried.’
    • ‘When she insults Miss Bates at Box Hill, Mr. Knightley's reprimand really shames her.’
    • ‘Universal is given a reprimand for some poor decisions concerning the making of this set.’
    • ‘This court reprimands Universal and any studio that releases sub-standard product.’
    • ‘In the end he got away with a fine and a reprimand, and the woodblocks for a satirical triptych were destroyed’
    • ‘Zeus observes that Achilles is fasting and reprimands Athena.’
    • ‘All were found guilty, receiving sentences varying from discharge and detention to a fine and reprimand.’
    • ‘Laurel trudged up the front walk and through her front door, bracing herself for her mother's screeching reprimands.’
    • ‘The captain says he ought to flog all of them, but because they surrendered early, he will make do with just a reprimand.’
    • ‘Both Steinhardt and the secret police seem to have shared the belief that the complex process of religious conversion that the writer underwent while in prison was a personal matter and as such deserved no reprimand.’
    • ‘The destruction of the Afghan Buddhas was met with reprimands from our officials, while ancient religious sites in our own country are being turned into quarries.’
    • ‘For bragging about the size of her sub, Kathryn Bigelow earns a reprimand from this court.’
    • ‘He encourages Dante to learn from what he sees and reprimands Dante when he sympathizes with the sinners.’
    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


  • Rebuke (someone), especially officially.

    ‘officials were dismissed or reprimanded for poor work’
    • ‘When it was concluded that he hadn't downloaded kiddie porn he was reprimanded and reassigned but not terminated.’
    • ‘Mr. Knightley reprimands her for this behavior, and she feels terrible.’
    • ‘The prosecution team is reprimanded for repeatedly bringing Ms. Starling, Dr. Lecter, and their companions before this bench.’
    • ‘Macomb reprimanded the assistant, who eventually resigned.’
    • ‘It was a work tool first and a social catalyst second, the thought of abusing it couldn't be further from peoples minds, let alone they consider they may be monitored or even reprimanded for it.’
    • ‘Anse reprimands his boys for being disrespectful of himself and his wife.’
    • ‘Then, while still in the changed garments, Edward noticed Tom's bruised hand and went out to reprimand the guard who had caused it.’
    • ‘Jacobi herself seems to have preferred an historical approach to her photographs, for in the film she reprimands her interviewer.’
    • ‘In December 1653, he was reprimanded by his peers and fined for neglect of duty; many subsequent warnings went unheeded.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, at the precinct, he is reprimanded, told to take a holiday, have his back fixed and stop embarrassing the NYPD.’
    • ‘Con's grandmother reprimands him for coming in late last night.’
    • ‘It is governed automatically by scripts that do the specific bidding of their creators both to help and to reprimand users of the protocol.’
    • ‘‘The person who did this has been reprimanded and has now left the company,’ he added.’
    • ‘This dinner guest then begins to crow loudly at the dinner table, until she is strictly reprimanded by Monsieur Maillard to behave properly.’
    • ‘She's reprimanded for something she didn't do, is demoted and finally grounded altogether.’
    • ‘Kate reprimands him and advises Celie to fight in order to survive.’
    • ‘In fact, he was reprimanding some poor girl in front of her for not knowing the answer to a question, but Cath was careful to keep her eyes on him for the rest of the class period, lest he call on her.’
    • ‘It was obvious from the pleasant expression on his face that he was only jesting, but judging solely from the tone of his voice, a passerby would've thought he was a father reprimanding an insolent child.’
    • ‘She could easily have ruined his career with a harassment suit but instead chose to just walk away, and he's insisting we reprimand her for doing so.’
    • ‘The Director reprimands him harshly in front of all the people at the meeting as a conspirator and suggests his deportation.’
    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).