Definition of reproach in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈprəʊtʃ/


[with object]
1Express to (someone) one’s disapproval of or disappointment in their actions: her friends reproached her for not thinking enough about her family [with direct speech]: ‘You know that isn’t true,’ he reproached her
More example sentences
  • Picasso's critics reproached him for an inability‘to forge a personal style’.
  • But Nanny will never tell you this and will go on reproaching you for your naughty habit of smoking in corners, even if it is the only way, with such a demanding life-style, to obtain a moment's quiet relief.
  • Idomeneus turns his sword against himself, without heeding the advice of a priest who reproaches him for his cruelty and invites him to make a substitute sacrifice of ‘a hundred bulls whiter than snow.’
1.1 (reproach someone with) Accuse someone of: his wife reproached him with cowardice
More example sentences
  • Whenever someone reproaches me with not having used an ordinary court for their sentencing, I can only say: In this hour I am responsible for the fate of the German nation and hence the supreme law lord of the German people.
  • Emilia, still reproaching Othello with Desdemona's innocence, dies.
  • When Holly reproaches Harry with the damage he has caused to his ‘victims,’ Harry makes the first of his famous speeches.
rebuke, reprove, scold, chide, reprimand, admonish, chastise, upbraid, remonstrate with, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the Riot Act, give someone a piece of one's mind, haul over the coals, lecture, criticize, find fault with, censure, express disapproval of
informal tell off, give someone a talking-to, give someone a telling-off, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, give someone a rocket, give someone a rollicking, rap, rap someone over the knuckles, slap someone's wrist
British informal tick off, have a go at, carpet, give someone a mouthful, tear someone off a strip, give someone what for, give someone some stick, wig, give someone a wigging, give someone a row, row
dated call down, rate, give someone a rating, trim
rare reprehend, objurgate, reprobate
1.2 archaic Censure or rebuke (an offence).


[mass noun]
1The expression of disapproval or disappointment: he gave her a look of reproach [count noun]: a farrago of warnings and pained reproaches
More example sentences
  • Look at the Closet scene: Hamlet has just killed a man, Polonius, yet he heaps reproaches upon his mother's head for daring to re-marry.
  • One of the main reproaches was the Australians' failure to hold the so-called Gap in the Owen Stanleys.
  • They cite the demands, reproaches and scaremongering of an obsessed media.
rebuke, reproof, reproval, admonishment, admonition, scolding, reprimand, remonstration, lecture, upbraiding, castigation, lambasting, criticism, censure, disapproval, disapprobation
informal telling-off, rap, rap over the knuckles, slap on the wrist, dressing-down, earful, roasting, rollicking
British informal ticking off, carpeting, wigging
Australian/New Zealand informal serve
dated rating
1.1 (a reproach to) A thing that makes the failings of (someone or something else) more apparent: his elegance is a living reproach to our slovenly habits
More example sentences
  • For Billy the boy is a nagging reminder of his own delinquent youth: for Shirley-Diane he is a strange mix of sex object and living reproach.
disgrace, discredit, source of shame, outrage;
blemish on, stain on, blot on, blot on the escutcheon of, slur on;
scandal, stigma
literary smirch
1.2 (Reproaches) (In the Roman Catholic Church) a set of antiphons and responses for Good Friday representing the reproaches of Christ to his people.


above (or beyond) reproach

Such that no criticism can be made; perfect: his integrity is beyond reproach
More example sentences
  • Feeling, intonation, and expressiveness were all on par with the quality of the work itself, which is to say, completely beyond reproach.
  • The sports players become the heroes and the country creates a pedestal where the athlete is beyond reproach and untouchable and this leads to all matter of problems.
  • ‘The quality of property in this region is beyond reproach - possibly the best available in Spain - but then that is what purchasers here expect as they are paying top dollar for the product,’ said Condon.
perfect, beyond criticism, blameless, above suspicion, without fault, faultless, flawless, irreproachable, exemplary, unimpeachable, impeccable, immaculate, unblemished, spotless, untarnished, stainless, unstained, pure, as pure as the driven snow, whiter than white, sinless, guiltless, unsullied
informal squeaky clean



Pronunciation: /rɪˈprəʊtʃəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • We cannot believe the government is moving to legalize the dog-eating practice of some Koreans, which is not only harmful to national interests but also disgraceful and reproachable.
  • You have to be smarter, more tenacious, less reproachable.
  • The US proposal is that the UN bans all cloning which it describes as ‘unethical, morally reproachable and contrary to due respect for the human person’.




Example sentences
  • Lythgoe shares Cowell's thinly veiled homophobia, reproaching male dancers who don't seem masculine enough.
  • She replied with a smug smirk, and a reproaching gaze.
  • Valdis did not answer nor give him a reproaching glare as she dunked her hands and a rag into the hot water that Evander had just brought over.


Example sentences
  • He eyed Matt reproachingly, looking at slightly quivering lips and an all-in-all inhabited look.
  • I looked at them reproachingly and he sort of slowly took them off and put them up in the air a little in a gesture of surrender.


Middle English: from Old French reprochier (verb), from a base meaning 'bring back close', based on Latin prope 'near'.

Words that rhyme with reproach

approach, broach, brooch, coach, encroach, loach, poach, roach

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|proach

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