I'm looking for an antonym for "Praise". I thought of the word "criticism", but it's a rather ugly word. Does anyone have any other suggestions for an antonym?

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    Try censure, less ugly. – Misti Aug 14 '15 at 19:13
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    The opposite of praise is inherently “ugly”. How do you intend to user this word? – Jim Aug 14 '15 at 19:33
  • Constructive criticism is not intended to be ugly. – Jim Aug 14 '15 at 19:33

Blame - responsability for something bad; bad opinion.

Depending on context and exctly what you want, it might work.

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derision - Contemptuous ridicule or mockery

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If you don't like the word criticize, you can use the verb form of fault instead.

: to criticize (something)
: to blame or criticize (someone)

For example:

I praise you for your tenacity but I fault you for your obstinacy.

Ooops, I misread your request for a verb, you want a noun. The word fault can also be used as a noun, of course.

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"Praise" means to express approval, to find value in someone or something, ultimately from the Latin pretium, meaning price. Although the word commonly is used in the context of giving credit ("I praise the man for his valor") it can be just an expression of approval and gratitude, as in

Praise God!

There are a group of similar words to express disapproval -- "rebuke," "reprove," "reprehend," "reprove" -- but they all express blame. The best of this lot may be "rebuke," as in the expansion of the above exhortation,

Praise God and rebuke the Devil!

Unfortunately, "rebuke" doesn't have a handy noun form. To express the opposite of saying good things, you might use "slander," "defamation," and "calumny," but these all have the connotation of falsity. For simply saying bad things, "malign," "traduce," or "disapprove" might do. The noun forms "malignity" and "disapproval" however, extend beyond words to attitude. "Traducement" works but stands out for being little used compared to "praise" (by orders of magnitude in internet searches).

Alas, the perfect opposite may not be available.

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  • Rebuke does have a noun form: rebuke. I.e., "The sergeant issued a rebuke to the troops." – Theresa May 2 '16 at 21:50
  • @Theresa You're correct. I should have said that rebuke doesn't have a handy non-count noun form parallel to praise. – deadrat May 2 '16 at 23:51

Mudslinging or defamation


  • Mudslinging - efforts to discredit one's opponent by malicious or scandalous attacks, the act of making hateful statements or comments about someone.
  • Defamation - the act of ruining someone's reputation through calumny, slander or libel.


  • The campaign degenerated into mutual mudslinging, each candidate trying to tarnish the other's repuation and looking bad in the process.
  • The company's CEO claimed defamation when the media claimed that he was having an affair with his young, attractive administrative assistant.

Do you need one of following connotations ?

  • denunciation, disapproval, reprobation, rejection or condemnation.

The corresponding verbs are defame, denounce, disapprove, reproach, reject or condemn.

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  • Defamate? I have never heard this; and I am a lawyer. The verb is simply "defame". – Theresa Sep 27 '16 at 23:24
  • @Theresa - Thanks for that comment, I edited my answer. – Graffito Sep 28 '16 at 15:38

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