v. crit·i·cized, crit·i·ciz·ing, crit·i·ciz·es
1. To find fault with: criticized the decision as unrealistic. See Usage Note at critique.
2. To judge the merits and faults of; analyze and evaluate: criticizes art for a living.
To act as a critic.
Synonyms: criticize, censure, condemn, denounce, decry
These verbs mean to express an unfavorable judgment. Criticize can mean merely to evaluate without necessarily finding fault; however, usually the word implies the expression of disapproval: formed a panel to criticize the students' works; was angry when his parents criticized the way he dressed.
Censure refers to the often formal pronouncement of strong criticism: "[He] censured from the pulpit what many others have welcomed as a much-needed religious awakening" (John Edgar Wideman).
Condemn usually applies to harsh moral judgment: "The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated" (Robert H. Jackson).
Denounce and decry imply public proclamation of condemnation or repudiation: "Fictionalizing in the writing of biography ... has been largely denounced by critics ... and teachers" (Margaret Bush). "The worship of the senses has often, and with much justice, been decried" (Oscar Wilde).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.