Scathing refers to a remark, criticism or comment that is severely critical or harsh, often with the intention of causing harm or embarrassment.


US English

UK English

See Synonyms, Antonyms and Usage

Excerpts from News Articles


Though victorious, the reigning champion was scathing of the second red flag that brought the restart, saying it had confused the drivers and caused unnecessary crashes.

Logo 2023-04-03 Channel NewsAsia


Some offered mildly pro-Russian views, others declined to answer questions about the war, while some even gave scathing criticism of Ukraine. No one directly criticized Moscow but, of course, it’s not clear how freely people felt they could speak.

Logo 2023-04-17 CNN News


The government imposed “significant suffering” on the British-Iranian dual nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori by spurning early opportunities to secure their freedom, a scathing report by the foreign affairs select committee has found.

Logo 2023-04-04 The Guardian


Mesut, who became part of the show with short introductory talks, is as scathing about digital projection as he is passionate about “real film” (Ciné Real is the name of his and Saint-Pierre’s film club). “I’m not against digital, but for me it’s punishment,” he says. “The showmanship side of film is gone – they just want to get you in and out.” When Saint-Pierre took Mesut to see the latest Bond film, Mesut got bored and went out to chat with the cinema staff.

Logo 2023-04-14 The Guardian


Standing alongside other grandmothers and dressed in a baro’t saya, a traditional outfit, she belted out a scathing indictment of the Japanese soldiers who assaulted and raped her as well as many other Filipino women during World War II.

Logo 2023-04-11 Al Jazeera


Von der Leyen's speech, which Beijing criticised as incoherent and misleading, offered a blunt, and at times scathing , assessment of the current state of EU-China relations, name-checking the Communist Party for promoting an "alternative vision of the world order."

Logo 2023-04-03 EURO News


Kevin Chong: Some of those influences are the following: my grandmother’s death in 2019, samurai movies like Sword of Desperation, the scathing reaction from a middle-aged man after I suggested that the treatment he described receiving, as a child, from his father had been abusive.

Logo 2023-04-11 Literary Hub


In the early 1990s, the British historian, G. R. Elton wrote a scathing critique of the works by women’s historians in his published lectures Return to Essentials: Some Reflections on the Present State of Historical Study. He called them “fanatical feminists,” who used modern misguided agendas to frame historical studies.

Logo 2023-04-18 Literary Hub


Twitter had been a primary driver of traffic and growth for many large Substack writers, and many independent journalists were left reeling from the news Friday. Emily Atkin, who runs a Substack covering climate-related news called Heated and joined the platform in 2019, wrote a scathing post on Musk’s decision, accusing him of censorship.

Logo 2023-04-07 The Washington Post


StarSolid StarSolid StarOutline StarOutline ( 2 stars ) The end of the studio rom-com era has taken many tolls, not least on the career of Nicholas Hoult, who with the right movies could have been his generation’s Hugh Grant — a baton-passing anticipated in Hoult’s breakout turn alongside the older actor 20-plus years ago in “About a Boy.” As a grown-up, Hoult has proved his comic chops in the scathingly ahistoric Hulu series “The Great.” In “Renfield,” he demonstrates the same gifts — and pours on the charisma — in a goofy, disposable genre exercise that’s heavier on the bloodletting than the heart-throbbing.

Logo 2023-04-12 The Washington Post


On Thursday, police Chief Brian O’Hara, who was hired last year, offered a scathing critique of Chauvin, describing him as a “national embarrassment to the policing profession.” Yet he also decried the “systematic failure” of the department he is now seeking to transform, saying the “notion we are dealing with the bad actions of one officer is false.”

Logo 2023-04-14 The Washington Post


The scathing document said that HMPO “lacks ambition” to perform better, raises doubts around digital transformation, and suggests there may be knock-on effects for years to come.

Logo 2023-04-06 The Independent


Observers had said that the insistence on fist bumping was a way of avoiding having to shake the hand of such a controversial figure as the Saudi crown prince, who – according to a scathing intelligence report – is believed to have had a direct hand in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist.

Logo 2023-04-12 The Independent


Noel Pearson was scathing of the Liberal Party, calling the decision not to support the Voice “a Judas betrayal of our country”. Moderate Liberal MP Bridget Archer will campaign for the “yes” case.

Logo 2023-04-06 The Conversation


While at the Vatican last week, Pietro Orlandi provided Vatican prosecutors with an audiotape from a purported Roman mobster insinuating that John Paul would go out looking for underage girls to molest. The Vatican’s editorial director in a scathing editorial noted the insinuation lacked any “evidence, clues, testimonies or corroboration.”

Logo 2023-04-16 Associated Press


Kherson and Luhansk, along with Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia provinces, were annexed illegally by Russia in September, following local referendums that Ukraine and the West denounced as shams. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak was scathing in his criticism of Putin’s trip, accusing the Russian leader of “degradation” and being the author of “mass murders” in the war.

Logo 2023-04-18 Associated Press


Previously, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had issued a rare straightforward rebuke to American ‘hegemony’ in a scathing essay widely shared by Chinese media. And earlier this month, a row erupted when the US military shot down what it claimed to be a Chinese spy balloon that flew over its airspace.

Logo 2023-04-10 RT News


Veteran actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has delivered a scathing rebuke of what he perceives to be a surge in anti-Semitic hate groups in the United States, telling viewers “there has never been a successful movement based on hate” in a Monday video that has since gone viral.

Logo 2023-04-10 RT News


The responses came quickly on both sides of the Atlantic. Norbert Rottgen of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee was scathing on Twitter and German radio. Macron, he intoned, was all wrong: “If China #Taiwan should attack, then we Europeans have to stand by what we always say: that the international community has rules that apply to everyone.

Logo 2023-04-12 The Spectator


Anyone who has ever published a book and been dismayed by an anonymous review online will have cheered inwardly at the story of David Wilson. Professor Wilson is a criminologist and historian who has published several books. Each of his books has received a scathing one-star review on Amazon from a pseudonymous critic calling himself ‘Junius’. The latest was posted, he says, within a few hours of his new book being published: ‘abysmal… avoid… low quality… poor research… would disgrace an undergraduate dissertation’.

Logo 2023-04-10 The Spectator


However, as he walks down the corridor of power, his rural California constituents didn't reap the rewards from his stardom. In a scathing article that reveals McCarthy's disregard to his own people, his constituents in Tooleville, California have been enduring drought and chemicals-contaminated water. He has represented the region for the past decade, and the Tulare, Kern and Fresno counties, which are under his watch, have endured more than 200 weeks of exceptional drought over the past decade, based on the Drought Monitor data reported by CNN.

Logo 2023-04-05 CGTN


Scathing reviews of the Super Mario Bros film, released on 5 April, have failed to dent its pulling power. In its first week it overtook Warcraft (released in 2016) to become the highest-grossing game adaptation, breaking a long history of big-screen flops for video-game-themed movies. Now {$}1bn in ticket sales beckons.

Logo 2023-04-22 The Guardian


Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America issued a scathing response to a statement the Trump campaign made to The Washington Post when asked whether the former president supported the six-week abortion ban signed into law by likely 2024 opponent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Logo 2023-04-21 MSNBC News


It followed a scathing safety review that detailed unheeded complaints and misfires on set before cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed in October 2021.

Logo 2023-04-20 EURO News


The actress Salma Hayek wrote a scathing letter to the magazine, which later published a full-page apology and later dropped Dame Edna’s column.

Logo 2023-04-22 The Washington Post


But Judge Kaplan blocked that bid in a scathing decision on 11 March 2022, in which he slammed Mr Trump’s continuing attempts to delay the 2019 case as “futile” and in “bad faith”.

Logo 2023-04-20 The Independent


Measure For Measure reveals how the plague stoked fears of urban overpopulation, while Timon of Athens offer’s a scathing satire on the mining lobby and its cornucopian economics: the notion that the earth’s wealth is inexhaustible.

Logo 2023-04-21 The Conversation


The production company finalized a settlement last month with New Mexico workplace safety regulars over “serious” violations, agreeing to a {$}100,000 fine to resolve a scathing safety review that detailed unheeded complaints and misfires on set before cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed in October 2021.

Logo 2023-04-19 Associated Press


After a scathing safety review by regulators in New Mexico that detailed ignored complaints and misfires before Hutchins' death in October of 2021, the production company agreed to pay a {$}100,000 fine.

Logo 2023-04-20 NPR


For her part, von der Leyen arrived in China just days after delivering a scathing speech in Brussels urging Europe to ‘de-risk’ from China and asserting that China’s ‘clear goal is a systemic change of the international order with China at its centre’ where ‘security and economy take prominence over political and civil rights’.

Logo 2023-04-21 The Spectator


That benign language contrasted sharply with Mr. Lemon’s interpretation of the day’s events. In a scathing message on Twitter, he told viewers that his talent agent had abruptly informed him “that I have been terminated by CNN.”

Logo 2023-04-24 The New York Times


He may have been comically scathing of the institutional church, but there was another church he really believed in: the community of people who worked together to advance the welfare, dignity and just treatment of the disadvantaged, the homeless, the addicted and the forgotten.

Logo 2023-04-24 The Conversation


It’s uncanny how precisely Judy Blume seemed to anticipate the peaks and valleys of my childhood, its moments of scathing humiliation and effervescent joy.

Logo 2023-04-24 Literary Hub


An equally tall roadblock awaits it in the White House, which issued a scathing veto threat of the bill on Tuesday. The Biden administration called it a "reckless attempt to extract extreme concessions as a condition for the United States simply paying the bills it has already incurred."

Logo 2023-04-25 CNBC


If Dame Edna was noted for one thing apart from her wicked sense of humour and love of gladioli, it was her scathing disdain for the man who single-handedly dragged her out of dreary suburban Melbourne and magically transformed her into a household name and a global superstar, beloved of kings and queens and commoners alike.

Logo 2023-04-26 The Spectator