September 25, 2011
- vituperate (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to criticize harshly : scold
- How do you use it?
- Several government spokespeople vituperated the spies once their activities were discovered.
- Are you a word wiz?
There's more than one word in English for criticizing angrily. Which of these words do you think is a synonym of "vituperate"?You needn't scold yourself if you picked B. "Revile" suggests a harsh, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred (such as "an alleged criminal reviled in the press"), while "vituperate" indicates a violent reviling (for instance, "vituperated them for betraying their friends"). "Scold" implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly (as in "angrily scolded the children"). "Berate" suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding (such as "an overbearing boss who continually berated the employees"). Yet another synonym, "upbraid," implies expressing disapproval on definite and usually justifiable grounds (as in "upbraided her assistant for poor research").