Use the adjective vituperative to describe criticism that's so sharp it hurts. A vituperative review of a movie would make the director bitter for months.

To correctly pronounce vituperative, remember that the first vowel sound is the long i sound, and the second syllable is accented: "vie-TOO-per-uh-tive." Being vituperative takes criticism to the next level. Vituperative criticism is harsh, scathing, even abusive. If a review or assessment is vituperative, it doesn't say "try harder next time." Instead it gives the sense of "go away and never come back."

Definitions of vituperative

adj marked by harshly abusive criticism

“her vituperative railing”
marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.