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Early 17th cent., borrowed from Latin castīgātus, past participle of castīgō (I reprove), from castus (pure, chaste), from Proto-Indo-European *kesa (cut)[1][2]. Doublet of chastise, taken through Old French. See also chaste.



castigate (third-person singular simple present castigates, present participle castigating, simple past and past participle castigated)

  1. (transitive, formal) To punish or reprimand someone severely.
    • 1999, Robert P. Gordon, I & II Samuel: A Commentary, Zondervan, p. 264:
      Perhaps disarmed by his own scandalous behaviour with Bathsheba, he was in no position to castigate his son for a similar fault.
  2. (transitive, formal) To execrate or condemn something in a harsh manner, especially by public criticism.
    • 1977, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Penguin Classics, p. 261:
      The curse of avarice and cupidity / Is all my sermon, for it frees the pelf. / Out come the pence, and specially for myself, / For my exclusive purpose is to win / And not at all to castigate their sin.
    • 2016, Halil Berktay, Suraiya Faroqhi, New Approaches to State and Peasant in Ottoman History, Routledge, p. 150:
      But despite all this, for Barkan, the universalist notion of an 'Ottoman feudalism' was anathema: he castigated this idea as the concentrated expression of the anti-Ottomanism of the Kemalist Enlightenment.
    • 2001, Klaus R. Scherer, Angela Schorr, Tom Johnstone, Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research, Oxford University Press, p. 59:
      Lewis should have castigated the reasoning employed rather than the emotion, which offers no clue as to which side of the argument a person will adopt.
    • 2012, James King, Under Foreign Eyes: Western Cinematic Adaptations of Postwar Japan, John Hunt Publishing, p. 1:
      From the outset, this issue becomes an often double-edged sword wherein Japan is both valorized and castigated.
  3. (transitive, rare) To revise or make corrections to a publication.








  1. second-person plural present active imperative of castīgō