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Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To inflict severe punishment on. See Synonyms at punish.
  • transitive v. To criticize severely.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To punish severely; to criticize severely; to reprimand severely.
  • v. To revise or make corrections to a publication.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To punish by stripes; to chastise by blows; to chasten; also, to chastise verbally; to reprove; to criticise severely.
  • transitive v. To emend; to correct.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To chastise; punish by stripes; correct or punish, in general.
  • To subject to a severe and critical scrutiny; criticize for the purpose of correcting; emend: as, to castigate the text of an author.

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

  • v. censure severely
  • v. inflict severe punishment on

Etymologies

Latin castīgāre, castīgāt-, from castus, pure; see kes- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Early 17th cent., from Latin castīgātus, past participle of castīgō ("I reprove"), from castus ("pure, chaste"), from Proto-Indo-European *kesa (“cut”) [2]. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In your latest, you again castigate Reichert and give a little praise to Darcy, but very little substance.

    Sound Politics: Seattle Times Q&A with Dave Reichert

  • Headmaster Fuess was no doubt familiar with a type of teacher who is far rarer now than during the era in which he taught, and which he describes here in a passage featuring the word castigate (KA stuh gayt), a harsh-sounding word that comes from the same Latin root as chastise, and means to criticize or punish severely, especially by harsh public criticism.

    Visual Thesaurus : Online Edition

  • Chastise, as well as castigate, comes from the Latin castigare, which adds the force of -igare, or agere, “to drive,” to the purifying.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • When you hear these folks, it doesn't matter what side of the debate they're on who are willing to kind of castigate somebody who may have a good idea, stand up and let them have it.

    CNN Transcript May 18, 2001

  • He said the ANC regarded the support expressed by local clergymen as "a critical solidarity" and expected church leaders to "castigate" the party from the pulpit if it proved dishonest or failed to show respect for human dignity.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • You should not castigate Lara Logan because she's an "attractive blonde female reporter."

    Shannon Galpin: What's Blonde Got to Do With It?

  • You should not castigate Lara Logan because she s an attractive blonde female reporter.

    Shannon Galpin: What's Blonde Got to Do With It?

  • In 2007, he had praised the role of a government-sponsored enterprise like Freddie only to castigate congressional Democrats for their support of the same firm.

    Gingrich Defends Stances in Debate

  • Regarding your editorial "Mitt Romney's 15%" Jan. 18: I'm no fan of Mr. Romney, but it's fairly ridiculous for the media to castigate him for paying as low a federal income-tax rate as possible.

    Blame Congress, Not Mitt Romney

  • Because some people actually care to design and plan for their neighborhoods, which is the purpose of neighborhood planning, and object to the plan coming from essentially the Nickels administration, you castigate them as nimbys.

    The Future is In Cities « PubliCola

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