When you scold someone, you (often angrily) point out and criticize some fault or error. If you forget again to clean up your room, your mom might scold you for it.

Scold can also be used as a noun to describe a person who irritates people by finding fault in everything. Your great aunt Merna, who during the holidays complains about her gifts, criticizes your weight, says the turkey is too dry, and the stuffing is soggy? She's a scold. Maybe she's cranky. Which brings us to the other way we can use scold as a verb: to grumble, grouch, or generally express one's crankiness. This latter meaning has more to do with the attitude of the scolder than the faults of the one being scolded.

Definitions of scold

v censure severely or angrily

“The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car”
bawl out, berate, call down, call on the carpet, chew out, chew up, chide, dress down, have words, jaw, lambast, lambaste, lecture, rag, rebuke, remonstrate, reprimand, reproof, take to task, trounce, vituperate
castigate, chasten, chastise, correct, objurgate
censure severely
brush down, tell off
criticize harshly, usually via an electronic medium
Type of:
criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws

v show one's unhappiness or critical attitude

“He scolded about anything that he thought was wrong”
grouch, grumble
Type of:
complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

n someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault

common scold, nag, nagger, scolder
a scolding (even vicious) old woman
Type of:
disagreeable person, unpleasant person
a person who is not pleasant or agreeable

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