Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 9, 2020 is:

reprove • rih-PROOV  • verb

1 : to scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent

2 : to express disapproval of : censure

3 : to express rebuke or reproof


“‘Being in confinement has made me reflect on what actually matters—which is progress and seeing others achieve greatness.’ [Joan] Smalls is taking to her Instagram account to reprove those that have remained silent during a time when the whole world is looking for reform.” — Harper’s, 11 June 2020

“‘Kitchen Confidential’ caused a ruckus in both the culinary and literary worlds and became a national bestseller. [Anthony] Bourdain was recognized—in some quarters, reproved—for his brutal honesty about restaurant life as well as his vivid prose style.” — Tom Beer, Newsday (Long Island, New York), 8 June 2018

Did you know?

Reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, and chide all mean to criticize. Reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault. Rebuke suggests a sharp or stern criticism (as in “In the interview, the candidate sternly rebuked the agendas of those running against her”). Reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke (“He was reprimanded before the ethics committee”). Admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel (“The assistant manager was admonished to control expenses”). Reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild scolding (“The teacher reproached the student for tardiness” and “The child was chided by his nana for untidiness”). Incidentally, the resemblance of reprove to prove is not coincidental—both words can be traced back to the Latin probare (“to test” or “to prove”).

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