Word of the DaySunday, November 14, 1999
\bih-RAYT\ , transitive verb;
To scold severely or angrily.
She tells of Mr. Hauptmann's great joy when they had a baby son, and of the times she ran up the stairs to berate him for playing the mandolin after the baby was asleep and found him playing the Brahms Lullaby as the baby looked on approvingly.
-- "Mrs Hauptmann's Cause", New York Times, October 20, 1981
Mayer Amschel went on to berate Nathan for failing to calculate his profits net (as opposed to gross).
-- Niall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild
Monsieur couldn't bear to be touched, and if I stretched out my foot and accidentally brushed against him in my sleep he would wake me up and berate me for half an hour.
-- Christine Pevitt, Philippe, Duc D'Orleans
Berate is from be-, "thoroughly" + rate, "to scold, to chide," from Middle English raten.
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