Definition of scathing in US English:



  • Witheringly scornful; severely critical.

    ‘she launched a scathing attack on the governor’
    • ‘That recommendation was met with scathing condemnation by an internal Pentagon inquiry leaked last week.’
    • ‘Speaking ahead of the lecture, the critic launched a scathing attack on the contemporary British art scene dismissing Brit Art as a journalistic invention.’
    • ‘The book was a scathing attack on the media establishment.’
    • ‘Three days after he was recalled, he stepped down amid scathing criticism of the federal government's inadequate response to the hurricane disaster.’
    • ‘There's no question she has the experience, intelligence and insider dirt to do a thorough and scathing analysis of the increasingly icky relationship between celebrity and media.’
    • ‘When the motion was narrowly defeated it led to scathing criticism by the national print media in particular, he noted.’
    • ‘He is particularly scathing about one member whom he characterises as callous, spineless and non-confrontational to the point of duplicity.’
    • ‘Much of this disc is split between songs that are scathing social commentaries and songs that seem to be inside jokes for his circle of friends.’
    • ‘A Bradford councillor has made a scathing attack on preservationists who are bitterly opposed to the construction of an Aire Valley motorway.’
    • ‘The development has attracted scathing criticism of Federal legislation, which deems the antennae low impact and thus not requiring a development application.’
    • ‘The judge's scathing criticism leaves the government with a major headache.’
    • ‘Both were scathing analyses of the relationship of the design profession and the forces of corporate commercialism.’
    • ‘More than 500 hospital doctors have launched a scathing attack on a proposed new contract for consultants, condemning it as ‘demeaning and unprofessional’.’
    • ‘Miller was especially wounded by Mailer's scathing verdict on his uncharacteristically whimsical travelogue The Colossus Of Maroussi.’
    • ‘He launched a scathing attack on both the EU and the Department of Marine in advance of tomorrow's blockade of fishing ports.’
    • ‘The inspection report contains scathing criticism of teaching standards in a third of areas and highlights poor management, failure at record-keeping and severe financial difficulties.’
    • ‘The most scathing review was in the New York Post, which described it as ‘a movie so pathetically lame even her most ardent young fans will give this stinker a big thumbs down’.’
    • ‘His actions and decisions have also brought scathing criticism.’
    • ‘Last week Thai retailers launched a scathing attack on the government for not doing enough to protect them from foreign competitors.’
    • ‘True, not everybody loves her; there are some who taunt Martha with sarcastic parodies, bilious caricatures, and scathing articles.’
    devastating, withering, blistering, extremely critical, coruscating, searing, scorching, fierce, ferocious, savage, severe, stinging, biting, cutting, mordant, trenchant, virulent, caustic, vitriolic, scornful, sharp, bitter, acid, harsh, unsparing
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