Definition of reproof in English:



  • An expression of blame or disapproval.

    ‘she welcomed him with a mild reproof for leaving her alone’
    [mass noun] ‘a look of reproof’
    • ‘She hit him on the shoulder lightly in reproof before laughing slightly before she realized that hurt her side even more.’
    • ‘Chris shook his finger in a mock reproof of his niece.’
    • ‘It was nearest to a reproof that I'd ever heard from her.’
    • ‘I closed the door and let out a sigh of relief mixed with reproof.’
    • ‘She stood looking at me, arms crossed as if waiting for a reproof.’
    • ‘By the faintly chagrined expression on his face, Darius could very safely assume that Asgard had received a similar reproof.’
    • ‘She could not bear to witness the reproof in her parents' eyes.’
    • ‘Keira, however, behaved as a model daughter, leaving no room for reproof.’
    • ‘‘And what is more,’ he continued, with the slightest hint of reproof in his voice, ‘You should learn to mind your tongue.’’
    • ‘It sounded more like a reproof than anything else.’
    • ‘It could signify a promise or a threat or a reproof.’
    • ‘Then why, why oh men do you continue to reject his reproof?’
    • ‘A statue showing Medea about to slaughter her children symbolizes the reproof of infanticide. In this case, death is clearly shown as a contained force, even a holy force.’
    • ‘In a final excerpt, the merchant issues a stern warning to his fellow countrymen (in a passage that must rate as one of the great reproofs in all English literature).’
    • ‘He can be sarcastic and severe without becoming offensive; his reproof often takes the form of humorous banter.’
    • ‘One eye cocked in gentle reproof, Don Mario sipped the wine.’
    • ‘He might deliver a speech calling for the improvement of congressional investigations without directly indicting the primary culprit whose excesses prompted the reproofs.’
    • ‘She needed no reproof from her parents - she had herself for that.’
    • ‘Wendy put her arms akimbo and tapped a foot, sending him a look of reproof.’
    • ‘The youngster who does not scramble from a chair to make way for an adult will draw a sharp reproof.’
    rebuke, reprimand, reproach, admonishment, admonition, reproval, remonstration
    disapproval, disapprobation, criticism, censure, blame, condemnation, fault-finding
    telling-off, rap over the knuckles, slap on the wrist, dressing down, blast
    ticking off, wigging
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French reprove, from reprover reprove Early senses included ignominy, personal shame and scorn.