an assertion that someone is guilty of a fault or offence
An accusation is a statement that says, "Hey, you did this! And this was bad!" You could make an accusation that someone stole your socks, insulted your grandmother, or stole your plans for an orbital death ray. When you make an accusation, you accuse someone.
blame for; make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against
The captain is
of failing to assess the weather, steer the vessel appropriately and prepare the passengers for abandoning ship.Los Angeles Times (Sep 8, 2019)
scold or reprimand; take to task
He was banished from the coast, and the sheriff was
to be more careful in granting passes for the future.Whymper, Frederick
This is one of the less severe types of blaming in this list. When you admonish someone, you're giving them a light scolding or a mild pooh-poohing at most. The noun form is
admonishment. If someone in a movie theater says — "Could you please put away your phone?" — that's an admonishment. If they say — "People like you are bringing about the fall of society, dooming us to live in a lawless society, like Mad Max!" — that's more of a denunciation.
inflict severe punishment on
Prosecutors allege Martin jeopardized national security by bringing home reams of classified information even as, they say, he once
colleagues as “clowns” for lax security measures.Seattle Times (Jul 6, 2019)
Castigate means "to reprimand in an especially harsh way." So, if you've ever been castigated, I'm sorry to hear it. Castigating is a hardcore version of the blame-and-shame game. It's miles beyond a simple admonishment. Like a lot of words, this one is first recorded in Shakespeare, specifically in Timon of Athens: "If thou did'st put this sowre cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well." In other words, "You should feel bad about being so full of yourself, dude."
harsh criticism or disapproval
The alliance was plunged further into crisis this month as Renault’s demand for a greater say in Nissan’s governance drew rare public
by the Japanese automaker.Reuters (Jun 19, 2019)
Facebook won’t change on its own, but a
from Apple might be what the company needs to get its act together.New York Times (Jan 31, 2019)
chasten someone, you chase them ten times. Just kidding. Chastening is a lot less fun than chasing, because you chasten someone for wrongdoing. A teacher could chasten you for talking in class. Your parents could chasten for you selling the dog to pirates. This word has a strong moral flavor to it, and you can also say you are chastened if you feel bad about misbehavior and won't do it again.
scold or reprimand severely or angrily
At an event in a low-ceilinged hotel conference room, the tour guide encouraged the visitors to sing a hymn in a local language, gently
them for not yet knowing the tune.Reuters (Aug 20, 2019)
Chiding is a little less serious than rebuking, and a lot less official than reprimanding (see below). Chiding is closer to scolding and a little like nagging, and it can be passive-aggressive. Teachers and parents are great fans of chiding their charges. A chide could be, "You forgot to do your homework again?"
deserving blame or censure as being wrong or injurious
"Ultimately our clients want justice and we will not rest until those
are held accountable."BBC (May 20, 2018)
speak out against
Among the prisoners released by Russia was Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, whose conviction for preparing terrorist attacks was strongly
aboard.Fox News (Sep 7, 2019)
This is a strong word for serious blame or disapproval. You wouldn't denounce your brother for eating the last cookie. Well, maybe you would, but generally denouncing is saved for more serious violations.
a public act of denouncing
The protests began as a revolt against a proposed fuel tax but quickly widened into a broader
of inequality and a stinging critique of Macron’s mode of governance.Los Angeles Times (Dec 31, 2018)
Denunciation is the noun form of
pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable
Disapprobation, which has been around since the 1600s, is a noun for the state of total disapproval and condemnation. When someone does something immoral or unethical, the reaction will resound with disapprobation. This word means something very close to
approbation is a lot like
approval. Free cake would be greeted by the masses with approbation, but free poison cake would only receive disapprobation.
bring into intimate and incriminating connection
Crown Prince Mohammed was
in the killing by United States intelligence officials and a United Nations inquiry.New York Times (Sep 5, 2019)
implicate someone is to suggest their involvement in something, and that something isn't usually a legal thing. This word comes up a lot in legal and criminal language. If someone is implicated in a bank robbery, they've been linked to it in some way. Implicate is related to imply, which means to suggest something without flat-out saying it.
an act or expression of criticism and censure
U.S. diplomats around the world often meet with opposition figures and groups, occasionally drawing
from governments.Washington Post (Aug 9, 2019)
rebuke someone is to reprimand them, usually in an official, sometimes public, way. This word has been around since the 1300s, and its meaning can be similar to
rebuttal. A rebuke is a rebuttal with some shame on top.
an act or expression of criticism and censure
reprimand is a statement of disapproval, often an official one from a teacher, supervisor, or other person in authority. Parents blame children in many ways for many things, but they aren't likely to issue a reprimand, because a family isn't an official organization (unless it’s a crime family, I guess). Reprimands are statement of sins and transgressions that go in your official record, which could eventually mean suspension from school, loss of a job, or demotion in the military.
censure severely or angrily