55 Synonyms for “Criticize”
One of life’s great pleasures is the opportunity to criticize others, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the verb criticize has a rich repository of synonyms that offers so many options for expressing your low opinions of people or their words or deeds.
I’ve divided the list below into four general categories. Generally, only the first features words with distinct connotations, which I’ve included; the others are fairly interchangeable within each category, and even across categories.
Words Expressing Disapproval
1. Admonish: to give gentle, earnest advice
2. Censure: to condemn with formal disciplinary action
3. Chasten: to discipline or restrain
4. Chastise: to communicate severe disappointment
5. Chide: to offer mild constructive criticism
6. Condemn: to criticize wrongdoing
7. Decry: to communicate strong disapproval
8. Denounce: to target someone for disapproval, usually publicly
9. Dispraise: to publicly criticize
10. Excoriate: to indicate scathing disapproval
11. Fault: to blame
12. Fulminate: to publicly criticize
13. Lambaste: to attack verbally
14. Reprehend: to voice criticism
15. Reproach: to communicate disappointment
16. Upbraid: to offer severe criticism
17. Vituperate: to abusively criticize
Words Expressing Disparagement
19. Cry down
25. Run down
26. Talk down
Words Expressing Severe Criticism
32. Lace (into)
33. Lay (into)
34. Pan (especially to criticize a performance or a proposal)
Words Expressing Reprimand or Scolding
36. Bawl out
38. Call down (another meaning is “to invite or entreat”)
39. Chew out
40. Dress down
46. Rail (against)
49. Ream (or ream out)
54-55. Two additional words used only in their noun form are commination (“denunciation”) and objurgation (“a harsh rebuke”).
Many other words such as assail and scathe can be suitable depending on the context but have senses closer to “attack” than “criticize.”
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