AskDefine | Define rebuke

Dictionary Definition

rebuke n : an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to take the rebuke with a smile on his face" [syn: reproof, reproval, reprehension, reprimand] v : 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" [syn: call on the carpet, rag, trounce, reproof, lecture, reprimand, jaw, dress down, call down, scold, chide, berate, bawl out, remonstrate, chew out, chew up, have words, lambaste, lambast]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French rebuchier, “to repulse”. Of doubtful origin, maybe connected with French bouche, “mouth”.


  • /riˈbjuːk/


  1. A harsh criticism.
    • Lord Lundy Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political Career. Hillair Belloc.
...Or if his father Lord Dunquerque
Said “Hi!” in a Commanding Tone,
“Hi, Lundy! leave the cat alone!”
Lord Lundy, letting go its tail,
Would raise so terrible a wail
As moved his grandpapa the Duke
To utter the severe rebuke:
“When I, sir! was a little boy,
An animal was not a toy!”



  1. To criticise harshly; to reprove.


Extensive Definition

In English law and the canon law of the Church of England, a rebuke is a censure on a member of the clergy. It is the least severe censure available against clergy of the Church of England, less severe than a monition. A rebuke can be given in person by a bishop or by an ecclesiastical court.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

admonish, admonishment, admonition, bawl out, berate, berating, blowing up, bring to book, call down, call to account, carpet, castigate, castigation, censure, chastise, chastisement, chew out, chide, chiding, correct, correction, criticism, criticize, dress down, dressing down, dressing-down, earful, have words with, hell, lecture, lesson, objurgate, objurgation, rap, rate, rating, reprehend, reprehension, reprimand, reproach, reprobation, reproof, reproval, reprove, revile, revilement, scold, scolding, sermon, set down, set straight, spank, spanking, straighten out, take down, take to task, talking-to, tick, tongue-lashing, upbraid, upbraiding, what for, wig
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