January 15, 2012
upbraid (verb)
\up-BRAYD\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to criticize or scold severely
How do you use it?
Mom upbraided Kristen for breaking the heirloom dish, but the scolding didn't seem to make Kristen any more careful.
Are you a word wiz?

We don't like to be scolded; quite the opposite! So which of these words means the opposite of "upbraid"?

Given the choice of being praised or upbraided, we'll choose the praise. "Praise" means "to express a favorable judgment of, commend," which is the opposite of "upbraid." You don't want to be rebuked either; that word means "to criticize sharply," a meaning similar to that of "upbraid." If you do something for which you are upbraided, you might try to atone for your bad behavior. "Atone" means "to make amends." One way to make amends for wrongdoing is to rectify it. "Rectify" is another way of saying "to set right."
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