criticize


criticize
criticize, reprehend, blame, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce are comparable when they mean to find fault with someone or something openly, often publicly, and with varying degrees of severity.
Criticize in its basic sense does not carry faultfinding as its invariable or even major implication; rather it suggests a discernment of the merits and faults of a person or thing
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know well each ancient's [classic poet's] proper character; his fable, subject, scope in every page; religion, country, genius of his age: without all these at once before your eyes, cavil you may, but never criticizePope

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In ordinary use, however, the word does commonly imply an unfavorable judgment or a pointing out of faults and is probably the term most frequently used to express this idea
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criticize a play severely

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averse to being criticized

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avoid criticizing a person's errors in speech

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it is foolish ... to criticize an author for what he has failed to achieve— Huxley

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we are trying to get away from the word "management" because it has been lambasted, ridiculed, criticized, and blasted— Personnel Jour.

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Reprehend in present-day English takes a person as an object far less often than a thing, a quality, or an action. In such use it not only explicitly suggests the approach of a critic and his disapproval but implies a more or less severe rebuke
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reprehend not the imperfection of others— Washington

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the thing to be reprehended is the confusing misuse of the word "verse"— Grandgent

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Blame fundamentally implies speaking in dispraise of a person or thing rather than in his or its favor; in general it also suggests the mental approach of a critic or detector of faults
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some judge of authors' names, not works, and then nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men— Pope

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Heine . . . cared . . . whether people praised his verses or blamed them— Arnold

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Aristotle, while blaming the man who is unduly passionate, blames equally the man who is insensitive— Dickinson

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Blame sometimes loses much of its opposition to praise and then may strongly convey an imputation or accusation of wrongdoing
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one cannot blame starving children who steal food

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or of guilt
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there is no one to blame but yourself

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Again blame may connote ultimate responsibility rather than actual guiltiness and then can take a thing as well as a person for its object
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the German family, whose patriarchical authoritarianism has been blamed . . . for militarism and despotism— Padover

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the drug- fiend will get drugs somewhere: if he finds his poppy and mandragora in poetry, you must blame his habit, not the poet— Day Lewis

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Since blame no longer invariably implies the simple reverse of commendation, censure is usually preferred to blame as the antonym of praise. This word carries a stronger suggestion of authority or competence in the critic or judge than does blame, as well as a clearer connotation of reprehension or, sometimes, of a reprimand
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the judge censured the jury for their failure to render a verdict on the evidence

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the official was not dismissed until after he had more than once been severely censured for his mistakes of judgment

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I lose my patience, and I own it too, when works are censured, not as bad but new— Pope

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it is not one writer's business to censure others. A writer should expound other writers or let them alone—F. M. Ford

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Reprobate is often used as though it were a close synonym of reproach or rebuke
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"I put it to you, miss," she continued, as if mildly reprobating some want of principle on Lydia's part— Shaw

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Distinctively, however, it may imply not only strong disapproval and, usually, vigorous censure but also a rejection or a refusal to countenance
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he reprobated what he termed the heresies of his nephew— Irving

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that wanton eye so reprobated by the founder of our faith— L. P. Smith

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Condemn carries even stronger judicial connotations than censure, for it implies a final decision or a definitive judgment; it commonly also suggests an untempered judgment which is wholly unfavorable and merciless
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condemn the fault, and not the actor of it? Why, every fault's condemned ere it be done— Shak.

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the freedom with which Dr. Johnson condemns whatever he disapproves, is astonishing— Burney

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no conceivable human action which custom has not at one time justified and at another condemnedKrutch

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Denounce adds to condemn the implication of public declaration or proclamation
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in all ages, priests and monks have denounced the growing vices of society— Henry Adams

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nothing . . . makes one so popular as to be the moral denouncer of what everybody else denouncesBrooks

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Analogous words: inspect, examine, *scrutinize, scan: *judge, adjudge: appraise, evaluate, assess (see ESTIMATE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • criticize — v. t. same as {criticise}; as, The paper criticized the new movie. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • criticize — [v1] disapprove, judge as bad animadvert on, bash, blame, blast, blister, carp, castigate, censure, chastise, chide, clobber, come down on, condemn, cut down*, cut to bits*, cut up*, denounce, denunciate, disparage, do a number on*, dress down*,… …   New thesaurus

  • criticize — [krit′ə sīz΄] vi., vt. criticized, criticizing 1. to analyze and judge as a critic 2. to judge disapprovingly; find fault (with); censure criticizable adj. criticizer n. SYN. CRITICIZE, in this comparison, is the general term for finding fault… …   English World dictionary

  • criticize — I (evaluate) verb adjudge, appraise, assess, consider, examine, gauge, iudicare, judge, measure, rank, rate, reckon, review, scrutinize, sum up, take stock of, value, weigh II (find fault with) verb animadvert, berate, blame, castigate, censure,… …   Law dictionary

  • criticize — 1640s, to pass judgment on something (usually unfavorable), from CRITIC (Cf. critic) + IZE (Cf. ize). Meaning to discuss critically is from 1660s; that of to censure is from 1704. Related: Criticized; criticizing …   Etymology dictionary

  • criticize — (also criticise) ► VERB 1) indicate the faults of in a disapproving way. 2) form and express a critical assessment of (a literary or artistic work) …   English terms dictionary

  • criticize — crit|i|cize W3S3 also criticise BrE [ˈkrıtısaız] v 1.) [I and T] to express your disapproval of someone or something, or to talk about their faults ≠ ↑praise ▪ Ron does nothing but criticize and complain all the time. be strongly/sharply/heavily… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • criticize — v. 1) to criticize fairly; harshly, severely, sharply 2) (D; tr.) to criticize for (to criticize smb. for sloppy work) * * * [ krɪtɪsaɪz] harshly severely sharply to criticize fairly (D; tr.) to criticize for (to criticize smb. for sloppy work) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • criticize */*/ — UK [ˈkrɪtɪsaɪz] / US [ˈkrɪtɪˌsaɪz] verb Word forms criticize : present tense I/you/we/they criticize he/she/it criticizes present participle criticizing past tense criticized past participle criticized Metaphor: Criticizing someone or speaking in …   English dictionary

  • criticize — crit|i|cize [ krıtı,saız ] verb ** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to say what you think is wrong or bad about something: Cabinet members were told not to criticize the policy publicly. It was difficult to be honest without seeming to criticize.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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