Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Informal To give a thrashing to; beat. See Synonyms at beat.
  • transitive v. Informal To scold sharply; berate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To scold, reprimand or criticize harshly.
  • v. To give a thrashing to; to beat severely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To beat severely
  • transitive v. to scold, reprimand, or berate harshly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat severely; thrash; in sailors' use, to beat with a rope's end.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. beat with a cane
  • v. censure severely or angrily

Etymologies

Perhaps lam1 + baste3.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1637. Probably lam (“beat”) +‎ baste (“beat”) (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Although both spellings are well attested, lambaste is truer to the putative etymology (lam "to beat" + baste "to thrash") and, in any event, vastly predominates." Garner's Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner (2003).

    November 11, 2010

  • Is lambaste or lambast more correct?

    August 16, 2008