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reproach Line breaks: re|proach
Pronunciation: /rɪˈprəʊtʃ/

Definition of reproach in English:


[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.
1.2 archaic Censure or rebuke (an offence).


[mass noun] Back to top  
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.
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.


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


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.



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.

Words that rhyme with reproach

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

Definition of reproach in:

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