Animadversion is a harsh, critical comment––or even a public censure. You don't hear it very often, but in Puritan times, dressing in bright colors and swearing would bring many animadversions down upon you.

Animadversion comes from the verb animadvert. In Middle English, animadvert meant simply to pay attention or "turn your mind to" something (animus means "mind," ad- "to," vertere "turn"). Anyone with parents can understand how a word that means "pay attention" can turn into a word that means "criticize."

Definitions of animadversion

n harsh criticism or disapproval

an ecclesiastical censure by the Roman Catholic Church withdrawing certain sacraments and Christian burial from a person or all persons in a particular district
Type of:
condemnation, disapprobation
an expression of strong disapproval; pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable

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