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tr.v. rep·ri·mand·ed, rep·ri·mand·ing, rep·ri·mands
To reprove (someone) severely, especially in a formal or official way. See Synonyms at admonish.
A severe, formal, or official rebuke or censure.

[French réprimander, from réprimande, a reprimand, alteration (influenced by mander, to order) of obsolete reprimende, from Latin reprimenda (culpa), (fault) to be repressed, feminine gerundive of reprimere, to restrain; see repress.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a reproof or formal admonition; rebuke
(tr) to admonish or rebuke, esp formally; reprove
[C17: from French réprimande, from Latin reprimenda (things) to be repressed; see repress]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈrɛp rəˌmænd, -ˌmɑnd)

1. a severe rebuke, esp. a formal or official one.
2. to reprove or rebuke severely.
[1630–40; < French réprimande, Middle French reprimend < Latin reprimenda that is to be repressed, neuter pl. ger. of reprimere to repress]
syn: reprimand, upbraid, admonish, censure mean to criticize or find fault with someone for behavior deemed reprehensible. reprimand implies a formal criticism, as by an official or person in authority: The lawyer was reprimanded by the judge. upbraid suggests relatively severe criticism, but of a less formal kind: The minister upbraided the parishioners for their poor church attendance. admonish refers to a more gentle warning or expression of disapproval, often including suggestions for improvement: I admonished the children to make less noise. censure suggests harsh, vehement criticism, often from an authoritative source: The legislators voted to censure their fellow senator.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




cast in [someone’s] teeth To upbraid or reproach a person; to throw back at a person something he has said or done. Some say the phrase, popular in Shakespeare’s time, is an allusion to knocking someone’s teeth out by casting stones. It may be an earlier form of the current expression throw in [someone’s] face.

He casteth the Jews in the teeth that their fathers served strange Gods. (Thomas Timme, tr., Commentary of John Calvin upon Genesis, 1578)

chew out To reprimand, scold, or give someone a tongue-lashing. This American slang expression dates from the middle of this century.

A verbal admonishing from a superior would be recorded by the victim with “I just got eaten out” or “I just got chewed out.” (J. B. Roulier, New York Folk Quarterly, IV, 1948)

curtain lectures A wife’s nighttime naggings; a shrew’s bedtime harangues. The curtains refers to drapes on old four-posters; the lectures to a wife’s supposed practice of showering her husband with sermons when he least wants to listen, i.e., when he wants to fall asleep. The expression, in use since the early 17th century, gained popularity when the English humorist Douglas William Jerrold published his fictional “Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain-lectures” in Punch in 1846.

dressing down A severe, formal reprimand or reproof; a tongue-lashing; a sharp censure. Dress ‘to treat someone with deserved severity, to give a thrashing or beating to’ (OED) dates from the 15th century, and dressing down from the 19th century. However, the two theories which have been proffered to explain the origin of dressing down do not take this long obsolete use of dress into account. The first theory relates to the preparation of fish.

The order was given [to] … fall to splitting and salting [fish]. This operation which is known as “dressing down,” is performed on hogshead tubs or boards placed between two barrels. (Harper’s Magazine, March, 1861)

The second theory claims that the phrase derives from the practice of “dressing down” in ore mines which involves breaking up the ore and crushing and powdering it in the stamping mill. It is plausible that either image—of splitting and cutting up fish or breaking up and crushing ore—could have given rise to the figurative dressing down.

get the stick To be severely rebuked or reprimanded, to be called on the carpet. This expression is British slang and apparently derived from the former practice of birching or caning, i.e., beating misbehaved schoolchildren with sticks. With the demise of corporal punishment in schools, the phrase has become figurative in meaning and now refers only to verbal punishment.

give [someone] Jesse To punish or scold; to reprimand or castigate. In this expression, Jesse may refer to the father of David (Isaiah 11:1, 10), a righteous and valiant man. It is more likely, however, that the reference is to the sport of falconry in which a jess, or jesse, a strap used to secure a bird by its leg to a falconer’s wrist, was used as a punishment for poor performance.

Just as soon as I go home I’ll give you jessie. (Alice Cary, Married, 1856)

give [someone] the length of one’s tongue To speak one’s mind, especially in verbally abusive terms; to give someone a piece of one’s mind. A citation from the OED dates the phrase from the turn of the 20th century.

haul over the coals To reprimand or scold; to censure, to take to task. Current figurative use of this expression derives from the former actual practice of dragging heretics over the coals of a slow fire. In a 16th-century treatise, St. Augustine was described as knowing best “how to fetch an heretic over the coals.” No longer is the phrase used literally as in the above quotation. Today haul or rake or drag or fetch over the coals refers at worst to severe criticism or censure.

If the Tories do not mend their manners, they will shortly be hauled over the coals in such a manner as will make this country too hot to hold them. (James C. Ballagh, ed., The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, 1911)

a lash of scorpions An extremely severe punishment; an unusually harsh, vituperative, or vitriolic chastisement or criticism. Though now used figuratively, this expression was once literal, the scorpion being an ancient instrument of punishment, a whip or lash with four or five “tails,” each set with steel spikes and lead weights. The allusion to the arachnoid scorpion with its venomous, stinging tail is obvious. Needless to say, a scourging with a scorpion was a heinous ordeal which inflicted intense pain and, in many cases, permanent injury or even death.

My father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. (I Kings 12:11)

lay out in lavender To chastise harshly and in no uncertain terms; to give someone a dressing down; to knock someone down or unconscious; to kill someone. Although the derivation of lavender in this expression is uncertain, lay someone out has long meant ‘to strike someone so hard as to knock him to the ground.’ One source suggests that since both “lavender” and “livid” are derived from the Latin lividula ‘a purplish-blue plant,’ there may be the common theme of intense anger. A more plausible explanation is that branches of the lavender plant were once used to beat freshly washed clothes, and that lay out in lavender alludes to this physical act of beating. In contemporary usage, however, this expression usually refers to a verbal beating rather than a physical one.

If that woman gets the Republican nomination, … I will lay her out in lavender. (Vivian Kellems in a syndicated newspaper column, September 15, 1952)

a lick with the rough side of the tongue

A harsh or merciless criticism, censure, or rebuke; a severe reprimand. In this expression, lick ‘a blow or strike, as in a punishment’ is used figuratively as is rough side of the tongue, with all of its attendant implications.

on the carpet Summoned before one’s superiors for a reprimand; called to account; taken to task; usually in the phrase to call on the carpet. Although this expression did not appear in this sense until 1900, both the verb to carpet ‘to call someone in to be reprimanded, to censure someone’ and the phrase to walk the carpet date from the early 1800s. Both were said of a servant called into the parlor (a carpeted area) before the master or mistress in order to be reprimanded.

pin [someone’s] ears back To reprimand severely or harshly; to deliver a scathing comeuppance; to abuse or punish physically. This expression implies that, figuratively at least, a person’s ears can be forced back against his head by the strength of a particularly harsh verbal or physical beating.

Pine was a flip-lipped bastard who should have had his ears pinned back long ago. (John Evans, Halo in Blood, 1946)

read the not act To reprimand or chastise vehemently and vociferously; to issue an ultimatum, an or-else; to threaten with drastic punishment. The expression derives from Britain’s Not Act of 1715, which provided that a given number of assembled persons perceived to be causing a disturbance were liable to arrest as felons if they refused to disperse on command. Such command or warning was given by formal reading of the Not Act.

skin alive To reprimand harshly; to verbally abuse or browbeat; to humble or subdue, especially in a venomous, cruel, or merciless manner. The figurative implications of this expression are obvious. Also, flay alive.

talk to like a Dutch uncle To rebuke or reprove someone with unsparing severity and bluntness. Although an adequate explanation as to why the uncle in this expression is Dutch as opposed to any other nationality has yet to be found, a possible derivation has been proposed in regard to the term uncle itself. Apparently, in Roman times, an uncle was a strict guardian given to administering severe reproofs if his charge stepped out of line. The following passage from Joseph C. Neal’s Charcoal Sketches (1838) illustrates the use of the phrase:

If you keep a-cutting didoes, I must talk to you both like a Dutch uncle.

tell where to get off To rebuke, to accuse someone of being presumptuous or stepping on toes; to take down a peg, to “tell off.” This slang expression of U.S. origin dates from the turn of the century. It may have derived by analogy with the forced ejection of unruly passengers from streetcars or trains. The expression implies that the person who tells another “where to get off” has reached the limits of his endurance and is in effect saying, “You’ve gone far enough.”

He said he was a gentleman, and that no cheap skate in a plug hat could tell him where to get off. (Ade, More Fables, 1900)

tongue-lashing A severe scolding or reprimand; a stinging rebuke or censure; a verbal whipping. Current since the 1880s, this phrase is a modernization of tongue-banging which was popular throughout the 1800s. An Anglo-Irish variation is slap of the tongue.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: reprimanded
Gerund: reprimanding

I reprimand
you reprimand
he/she/it reprimands
we reprimand
you reprimand
they reprimand
I reprimanded
you reprimanded
he/she/it reprimanded
we reprimanded
you reprimanded
they reprimanded
Present Continuous
I am reprimanding
you are reprimanding
he/she/it is reprimanding
we are reprimanding
you are reprimanding
they are reprimanding
Present Perfect
I have reprimanded
you have reprimanded
he/she/it has reprimanded
we have reprimanded
you have reprimanded
they have reprimanded
Past Continuous
I was reprimanding
you were reprimanding
he/she/it was reprimanding
we were reprimanding
you were reprimanding
they were reprimanding
Past Perfect
I had reprimanded
you had reprimanded
he/she/it had reprimanded
we had reprimanded
you had reprimanded
they had reprimanded
I will reprimand
you will reprimand
he/she/it will reprimand
we will reprimand
you will reprimand
they will reprimand
Future Perfect
I will have reprimanded
you will have reprimanded
he/she/it will have reprimanded
we will have reprimanded
you will have reprimanded
they will have reprimanded
Future Continuous
I will be reprimanding
you will be reprimanding
he/she/it will be reprimanding
we will be reprimanding
you will be reprimanding
they will be reprimanding
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been reprimanding
you have been reprimanding
he/she/it has been reprimanding
we have been reprimanding
you have been reprimanding
they have been reprimanding
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been reprimanding
you will have been reprimanding
he/she/it will have been reprimanding
we will have been reprimanding
you will have been reprimanding
they will have been reprimanding
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been reprimanding
you had been reprimanding
he/she/it had been reprimanding
we had been reprimanding
you had been reprimanding
they had been reprimanding
I would reprimand
you would reprimand
he/she/it would reprimand
we would reprimand
you would reprimand
they would reprimand
Past Conditional
I would have reprimanded
you would have reprimanded
he/she/it would have reprimanded
we would have reprimanded
you would have reprimanded
they would have reprimanded
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.reprimand - an act or expression of criticism and censurereprimand - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to take the rebuke with a smile on his face"
riot act - a vigorous reprimand; "I read him the riot act"
criticism, unfavorable judgment - disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings; "the senator received severe criticism from his opponent"
chiding, objurgation, scolding, tongue-lashing - rebuking a person harshly
what for - a strong reprimand
berating, blowing up - a severe rebuke; "he deserved the berating that the coach gave him"
reproach - a mild rebuke or criticism; "words of reproach"
talking to, lecture, speech - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
chastening, chastisement, correction - a rebuke for making a mistake
admonishment, monition, admonition - a firm rebuke
Verb1.reprimand - rebuke formally
criticise, criticize, pick apart, knock - find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws; "The paper criticized the new movie"; "Don't knock the food--it's free"
animadvert - express blame or censure or make a harshly critical remark
2.reprimand - censure severely or angrilyreprimand - censure severely or angrily; "The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car"; "The deputy ragged the Prime Minister"; "The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup"
castigate, chasten, chastise, objurgate, correct - censure severely; "She chastised him for his insensitive remarks"
brush down, tell off - reprimand; "She told the misbehaving student off"
criticise, criticize, pick apart, knock - find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws; "The paper criticized the new movie"; "Don't knock the food--it's free"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. blame, censure, rebuke, reproach, check, lecture, carpet (informal), scold, tick off (informal), castigate, chide, dress down (informal), admonish, tear into (informal), tell off (informal), take to task, read the riot act, tongue-lash, reprove, upbraid, slap on the wrist (informal), bawl out (informal), rap over the knuckles, haul over the coals (informal), chew out (U.S. & Canad. informal), tear (someone) off a strip (Brit. informal), give a rocket (Brit. & N.Z. informal), reprehend, chew someone's ass (U.S. & Canad. taboo slang), give (someone) a row (informal), send someone away with a flea in his or her ear (informal) He was reprimanded by a teacher.
blame praise, applaud, compliment, congratulate, commend
1. blame, talking-to (informal), row, lecture, wigging (Brit. slang), censure, rebuke, reproach, ticking-off (informal), dressing-down (informal), telling-off (informal), admonition, tongue-lashing, reproof, castigation, reprehension, flea in your ear (informal) He has been given a severe reprimand.
blame praise, compliment, congratulations, commendation
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To criticize for a fault or an offense:
Informal: bawl out, lambaste.
Slang: chew out.
Idioms: bring to task, call on the carpet, haul over the coals, let someone have it.
Words expressive of strong disapproval:
Slang: rap.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
átelja, veita áminninguátölur, áminning
papeikimaspareikšti papeikimą
izteikt rājienunorāt


A. Nreprimenda f
B. VTreprender, regañar
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nréprimande f
to reprimand sb for doing sth → réprimander qn pour avoir fait qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nTadel m; (official also) → Verweis m
vttadeln, maßregeln (geh)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. nrimprovero
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(repriˈmaːnd) , ((American also) ˈreprimand) verb
(especially of a person in authority) to speak or write angrily or severely to (someone) because he has done wrong; to rebuke. The soldier was severely reprimanded for being drunk.
(ˈreprimaːnd) noun
angry or severe words; a rebuke. He was given a severe reprimand.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Having administered her reprimand, Lady Janet had not done with the servant yet.
This wild outbreak on the part of Sola so greatly surprised and shocked the other women, that, after a few words of general reprimand, they all lapsed into silence and were soon asleep.
When I found that he was not to be laughed out of his design, I calmly begged an explanation, and desired to know by what he was impelled, and by whom commissioned, to reprimand me.
Philip received the reprimand with good grace, and bowed, first smiling at his brother, and then his mother.
Elinor began to find this impertinence too much for her temper; but she was saved the trouble of checking it, by Lucy's sharp reprimand, which now, as on many occasions, though it did not give much sweetness to the manners of one sister, was of advantage in governing those of the other.
"The brutal affectation with which you have enumerated and classified your crimes calls for a severe reprimand on the part of the court, both in the name of morality, and for the respect due to humanity.
Catching us talking at night, in this school, only means a reprimand. Catching us with a light, ends in punishment.
"Oh, it was done very nicely, I'll allow; but I was reprimanded. I!
Mr Allworthy very severely reprimanded the lad for his indecent and disrespectful expressions concerning his master; but much more for his avowing an intention of revenge.
"Ah, Timokhin!" said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had been reprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat.
He would not even have seen after their going to church on Sundays, only Joseph and the curate reprimanded his carelessness when they absented themselves; and that reminded him to order Heathcliff a flogging, and Catherine a fast from dinner or supper.
The second disadvantage is, that my lawyer must proceed with great caution, or else he will be reprimanded by the judges, and abhorred by his brethren, as one that would lessen the practice of the law.