What’s the difference between criticise and reprimand, are they synonymous?

I’m and ESL teacher and the word reprimand came up in the lesson. I asked the student to define “reprimand” and he said it means to criticise someone. I don’t feel that the words are synonymous. For the life of me, I cannot find any information on this. Can someone assist?


‘Reprimand’ implies a certain degree of authority. Only a person with authority over someone else may reprimand them. A reprimand usually comes with some kind of consequence, although it may be a ‘warning’.

On the other hand anyone may criticize someone else.

So a boss may reprimand subordinate, but a subordinate (or an equal) may only criticize his boss.

Source : Link , Question Author : Kyle Mostert , Answer Author : DJClayworth

Leave a Comment