9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kas-ti-geyt] /ˈkæs tɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), castigated, castigating.
to criticize or reprimand severely.
to punish in order to correct.
Origin of castigate
1600-10; < Latin castīgātus literally, driven to be faultless (past participle of castigāre to chasten), equivalent to cast(us) pure, chaste + -īg-, combining form of agere to drive, incite + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
castigation, noun
castigative, castigatory
[kas-ti-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈkæs tɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
castigator, noun
noncastigating, adjective
noncastigation, noun
self-castigating, adjective
self-castigation, noun
uncastigated, adjective
uncastigative, adjective
1. scold, reprove. 2. discipline, chastise, chasten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for castigate
  • The authors also take every opportunity to castigate other westerners for their ignorance of the changed continent.
  • We may blame the students, castigate them as lazy or lacking commitment, and even rebuke the students.
  • It is amusing how you can castigate the science based skepticism, but insist on the opposite extreme of blind faith.
  • But once they know they are to be rescued they sullenly castigate him.
  • He was known to castigate juries for being too lenient, and being unbending to muggers who he shipped off to jail.
  • It is, however, difficult to excessively castigate many of those early efforts from our present-day vantage point.
  • It would be easy to demonize and castigate individuals but that is not our purpose.
  • The way to prevent the spread of disease is to educate, not castigate or criminalize.
British Dictionary definitions for castigate


(transitive) to rebuke or criticize in a severe manner; chastise
Derived Forms
castigation, noun
castigator, noun
castigatory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin castīgāre to correct, punish, from castum pure + agere to compel (to be)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for castigate

c.1600, from Latin castigatus, past participle of castigare "to correct, set right; purify; chastise, punish," from castus "pure" (see caste) + agere "to do" (see act (n.)). The notion behind the word is "make someone pure by correcting or reproving him."

If thou didst put this soure cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well. [Shakespeare, "Timon" IV.iii (1607)]
Related: Castigated; castigating; castigator; castigatory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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