Rebuke refers to a sharp and stern disapproval or criticism of someone’s actions, behavior, or attitude.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech

Noun and verb


Reprimand, scold, admonish, criticize, chide, upbraid, berate, censure, reproach


Praise, compliment, commend, approve

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun rebukes, rebukers, rebuker, rebuke
Verb rebuking, rebuke, rebukes, rebuked
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • Noun: His mother’s rebuke made him realize his mistake.

  • Verb: The teacher rebuked the student for being late again.

  • Noun: The politician faced a rebuke from the opposition party for his insensitive remarks.

  • Noun: The teacher issued a stern rebuke to the student for repeatedly disrupting the class.


The word rebuke can be used both as a noun and a verb. It is usually employed to indicate disapproval or criticism, especially in cases where someone has violated rules or behaved improperly. Rebuke is often associated with the expression of displeasure or dissatisfaction, which can be communicated in a sharp and stern manner. It is a strong word that carries an implication of moral judgment, and its usage often reflects the speaker’s authority or position of power.

The word rebuke is derived from the Middle English word “rebuk,” which means “to reprove” or “to chastise.” Its root word “buken” has Old Norse origins and means “to beat” or “to strike.” This etymology emphasizes the forceful nature of the word rebuke.

Rebuke is often used in situations where someone has committed a moral or ethical transgression, such as violating a rule, breaking a law, or behaving in an unacceptable way. In such cases, the rebuke may serve as a corrective measure or a warning to prevent future offenses. Rebuke can also be used in situations where someone has made a mistake or exhibited poor judgment, and the speaker wants to express disapproval or disappointment.

Overall, rebuke is a strong and forceful word that conveys disapproval or criticism. Its usage can be both a corrective measure and a means of expressing moral judgment. The word’s strength makes it an effective tool for expressing displeasure, but it should be used carefully and thoughtfully to avoid causing unnecessary offense or harm.