Ask Difference

Reprimand vs. Reprehend — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 24, 2024
A reprimand is a formal criticism for misconduct, often given verbally or in writing, while reprehend refers to expressing strong disapproval or criticism, usually verbally.
Reprimand vs. Reprehend — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Reprimand and Reprehend


Key Differences

A reprimand typically occurs in structured settings like workplaces or schools, serving as an official rebuke for inappropriate behavior or failure to meet standards. Reprehend, on the other hand, involves expressing disapproval and is not confined to formal settings, encompassing a broader range of contexts where criticism is voiced.
Reprimands are often documented and can become part of one’s professional or academic record, influencing future evaluations. Whereas reprehend generally leaves no official trace, its impact is more about moral or ethical judgment.
The intent behind a reprimand is usually to correct behavior or enforce rules, with a focus on future improvement and adherence to specific norms. Reprehend, however, focuses more on the expression of moral disapproval, often aimed at highlighting what is considered morally or ethically wrong.
Reprimands can be issued by individuals in positions of authority, such as managers, teachers, or supervisors, who have the power to enforce rules and expectations. Conversely, anyone can reprehend another, irrespective of their authority or relationship, emphasizing personal judgment and societal norms.
The reception of a reprimand is typically formal and may require acknowledgement or a response from the recipient. In contrast, responses to being reprehended can vary widely, from acceptance and agreement to defensive reactions, depending on the personal dynamics involved.

Comparison Chart


Formal criticism for misconduct
Expression of disapproval or criticism


Often official, in structured settings
Can be informal or formal, various contexts


Yes, usually documented
No typical documentation


Issued by someone in authority
Can be done by anyone


To correct behavior or enforce rules
To express moral or ethical judgment

Compare with Definitions


A correction intended to improve behavior in an institutional context.
The reprimand from her teacher made her reconsider her actions.


To express disapproval or criticism.
She reprehended the proposal for lacking detail.


A formal expression of disapproval for bad behavior.
The employee received a reprimand for arriving late.


Critique based on moral or ethical grounds.
He was reprehended for his unfair treatment of the staff.


A formal disciplinary action in a professional setting.
His file now contains a reprimand from his supervisor.


An expression of personal or societal judgment.
The community reprehended the company's environmentally harmful practices.


Official criticism from a person in power.
The judge issued a reprimand to the noisy spectator.


To disapprove vocally or in writing.
The editor reprehended the author's controversial arguments.


A punitive measure for violating rules or norms.
The soldier was given a reprimand for failing to follow orders.


To scold or rebuke outside of a formal system.
She reprehended her friend for lying.


A reprimand is a severe, formal or official reproof. Reprimanding takes in different forms in different legal systems.


To reprove; censure.


To reprove (someone) severely, especially in a formal or official way.


To criticize, to reprove


A severe, formal, or official rebuke or censure.


To reprove or reprimand with a view of restraining, checking, or preventing; to make charge of fault against; to disapprove of; to chide; to blame; to censure.
Aristippus being reprehended of luxury by one that was not rich, for that he gave six crowns for a small fish.
Pardon me for reprehending thee.
In which satire human vices, ignorance, and errors . . . are severely reprehended.
I nor advise nor reprehend the choice.


A severe, formal or official reproof; reprehension, rebuke, private or public.


Express strong disapproval of


To reprove in a formal or official way.


Severe or formal reproof; reprehension, private or public.
Goldsmith gave his landlady a sharp reprimand for her treatment of him.


To reprove severely; to reprehend; to chide for a fault; to consure formally.
Germanicus was severely reprimanded by Tiberius for traveling into Egypt without his permission.


To reprove publicly and officially, in execution of a sentence; as, the court ordered him to be reprimanded.


An act or expression of criticism and censure;
He had to take the rebuke with a smile on his face


Rebuke formally


Censure severely or angrily;
The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car
The deputy ragged the Prime Minister
The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup

Common Curiosities

What is a reprimand?

A reprimand is an official notice of disapproval, typically for misconduct or poor performance, issued in a formal setting like a workplace or school.

Who can give a reprimand at work?

Typically, reprimands at work are given by someone in a position of authority, like a supervisor or manager.

What does it mean to reprehend someone?

To reprehend someone means to express strong disapproval or criticism, often concerning moral or ethical issues.

How does a reprimand affect someone’s career?

A reprimand can negatively impact someone’s career, affecting promotions and evaluations, and can be part of the individual’s permanent record.

Is a reprimand always formal?

Yes, reprimands are typically formal and may involve written documentation or a formal verbal notice.

Is reprehend considered less serious than a reprimand?

In terms of documentation and formal impact, yes, but the moral or ethical implications of reprehend can be quite serious.

What is the best way to handle being reprehended?

Handling reprehend involves reflecting on the criticism, considering its validity, and deciding whether to make changes based on the feedback.

Can anyone issue a reprehend?

Yes, anyone can reprehend another person, as it does not require formal authority and is based on personal or societal judgment.

Can reprehend involve written communication?

Yes, while often verbal, reprehend can also occur in written form, such as in critiques or public comments.

Are reprimands common in educational settings?

Yes, reprimands are common in educational settings as a means to address behavioral issues or breaches of school policy.

Does a reprimand have legal implications?

In some contexts, such as the workplace or professional licensing, a reprimand can have legal or regulatory implications.

How should one react to receiving a reprimand?

It is advisable to respond to a reprimand professionally, acknowledging the issue and demonstrating a willingness to improve.

How do people typically respond to being reprehended?

Responses to being reprehended can vary, ranging from acceptance of the criticism to defensive or confrontational reactions.

Can a reprimand be contested?

Yes, in many formal settings, there are procedures in place to contest or appeal a reprimand if deemed unjust or incorrect.

Can reprehend lead to a formal penalty?

Reprehend itself does not lead to formal penalties but can influence social or professional perceptions.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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