Top 37 Slang For Criticize – Meaning & Usage

Criticism is a common part of everyday life, but expressing it in a fresh and trendy way can make all the difference. Whether you’re looking to spice up your vocabulary or just stay in the loop, our team has got you covered with the top slang terms for criticize. Get ready to level up your communication game and add some flair to your everyday conversations with these cool new expressions!

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1. Trash

This slang term is often used to express strong disapproval or contempt towards someone or something.

  • For example, “I can’t believe they trashed my favorite band’s new album.”
  • In a movie review, a critic might write, “The film was absolute trash, with no redeeming qualities.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t listen to him, he’s just trashing your ideas because he’s jealous.”

2. Knock

This slang term is commonly used to express disapproval or make negative remarks about someone or something.

  • For instance, “He’s always knocking other people’s work, but his own is mediocre at best.”
  • In a discussion about a new restaurant, someone might say, “I heard people knocking the food, but I actually enjoyed it.”
  • A person might comment, “I don’t understand why people feel the need to knock others down instead of offering constructive criticism.”

3. Pan

This slang term is often used to convey strong criticism or disapproval towards someone or something.

  • For example, “The critics panned the movie, calling it a complete disaster.”
  • In a music review, a writer might say, “The album was panned by fans and critics alike for its lack of originality.”
  • A person might comment, “I don’t understand why people pan this restaurant, I’ve had great experiences there.”

4. Diss

This slang term is commonly used to describe the act of insulting or criticizing someone in a disrespectful or mocking way.

  • For instance, “He dissed her outfit in front of everyone, it was really mean.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might diss their opponent with clever and cutting lyrics.
  • A person might say, “Don’t take it personally, he’s just dissing everyone to get a reaction.”

5. Flame

This slang term is often used to describe the act of aggressively criticizing or insulting someone online, especially in heated or contentious discussions.

  • For example, “The forum was full of people flaming each other over their political beliefs.”
  • In a comment section, someone might write, “Stop flaming others and have a civil discussion.”
  • A person might warn, “Be careful not to get caught up in an online flame war, it’s not worth the stress.”

6. Trash-talk

To trash-talk someone is to verbally attack or criticize them in a derogatory or disrespectful manner.

  • For example, during a sports game, a player might trash-talk their opponent to try and intimidate them.
  • In a heated argument, one person might say, “Don’t you dare trash-talk me like that!”
  • A gossip might engage in trash-talking by spreading negative rumors about someone behind their back.

7. Pick apart

To pick apart something is to carefully analyze and criticize it, often by breaking it down into smaller components.

  • For instance, a film critic might pick apart a movie’s plot, character development, and cinematography in their review.
  • In a debate, one person might pick apart their opponent’s arguments to show their flaws.
  • A teacher might pick apart a student’s essay to provide constructive feedback for improvement.

8. Lay into

To lay into someone is to strongly criticize or reprimand them, often in an aggressive or confrontational manner.

  • For example, a boss might lay into an employee for repeatedly missing deadlines.
  • During a family argument, one person might lay into another for their irresponsible behavior.
  • A teacher might lay into a student for cheating on a test.

9. Hammer

To hammer someone is to criticize or attack them relentlessly, often with the intention of wearing them down or breaking their spirit.

  • For instance, a journalist might hammer a public figure with tough questions during an interview.
  • In a heated argument, one person might hammer their opponent with insults and personal attacks.
  • A coach might hammer their team for their poor performance in a game.
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10. Blast

To blast someone is to strongly criticize or condemn them, often in a public or forceful manner.

  • For example, a music critic might blast a new album for its lack of originality.
  • In a political debate, one candidate might blast their opponent’s policies as harmful to the country.
  • A customer might blast a company on social media for their poor customer service experience.

11. Chew out

To criticize or scold someone severely and angrily.

  • For example, “The boss chewed out the employee for being late to work.”
  • A parent might say, “I’m going to chew out my kids if they don’t clean their room.”
  • In a military setting, a drill sergeant might chew out a recruit for not following orders.

12. Cut down

To make negative comments or remarks about someone or something, often in a demeaning or derogatory manner.

  • For instance, “She always cuts down her coworkers behind their backs.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t cut down my fashion sense just because you don’t understand it.”
  • In a discussion about a movie, someone might cut down the plot for being predictable.

13. Disparage

To criticize or express disapproval of someone or something, often in a way that undermines their worth or importance.

  • For example, “He constantly disparages his colleagues’ ideas in meetings.”
  • A person might say, “It’s not fair to disparage someone just because they have different beliefs.”
  • In a heated debate, one might disparage their opponent’s intelligence.

14. Put down

To make someone feel inferior or criticize them, often in a condescending or demeaning manner.

  • For instance, “She always puts down her classmates for not being as smart as her.”
  • A person might say, “Stop putting yourself down. You’re smarter than you think.”
  • In a discussion about a book, someone might put down the author’s writing style.

15. Rip to shreds

To criticize someone or something harshly and thoroughly, often leaving nothing positive or intact.

  • For example, “The movie critic ripped the new film to shreds in his review.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t ask for my opinion if you can’t handle me ripping your idea to shreds.”
  • In a debate, one might rip their opponent’s argument to shreds with solid evidence and counterpoints.

16. Shoot down

To criticize or reject someone’s idea or proposal. It implies that the criticism is harsh and decisive.

  • For example, “During the meeting, the boss shot down all of my suggestions.”
  • In a debate, one person might say, “I will shoot down your argument with these facts.”
  • A reviewer might write, “The film was widely shot down by critics for its poor storytelling.”

17. Take to task

To criticize or reprimand someone for their actions or behavior. It implies that the criticism is direct and confrontational.

  • For instance, “The teacher took the student to task for not completing the assignment.”
  • A parent might say, “I will take my child to task if they don’t improve their grades.”
  • In a work setting, a manager might say, “I need to take John to task for his constant tardiness.”

18. Zing

To deliver a quick and witty insult or criticism. It implies that the criticism is clever and sharp.

  • For example, “He zinged his opponent with a well-timed comeback.”
  • During a friendly banter, one person might say, “Nice zing! You really got me.”
  • A comedian might use zings in their stand-up routine to make the audience laugh.

19. Call out

To openly criticize or challenge someone’s behavior or actions. It implies that the criticism is public and assertive.

  • For instance, “She called out her coworker for taking credit for her work.”
  • In a social media dispute, one person might say, “I’m going to call you out for spreading false information.”
  • A journalist might write, “The article calls out the government for their lack of transparency.”

20. Censure

To officially criticize or condemn someone’s actions or behavior. It implies that the criticism is severe and carries consequences.

  • For example, “The committee censured the politician for his unethical behavior.”
  • In a corporate setting, a board might censure a CEO for financial misconduct.
  • A news article might report, “The United Nations issued a censure against the country for human rights violations.”

21. Denounce

To denounce is to publicly express strong disapproval or condemnation of someone or something. It implies a strong and vocal criticism.

  • For example, a political activist might denounce a government policy by saying, “This policy is an assault on our rights and freedoms.”
  • A journalist might denounce a corrupt politician by writing, “The actions of this politician are a betrayal of the public’s trust.”
  • In a heated debate, one debater might denounce the other’s argument as “baseless and unfounded.”

22. Knock down

To knock down is to discredit or debunk someone’s claims or arguments. It suggests undermining the validity or credibility of what is being criticized.

  • For instance, a scientist might knock down a popular myth by saying, “Contrary to popular belief, vaccines do not cause autism.”
  • A lawyer might knock down the opposing counsel’s argument by presenting evidence that contradicts it.
  • In a political debate, one candidate might knock down their opponent’s claims by pointing out inconsistencies or falsehoods.
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23. Pick holes in

To pick holes in something is to find faults or flaws in it. It implies a meticulous examination and criticism of the subject.

  • For example, a film critic might pick holes in a movie’s plot by pointing out inconsistencies or logical errors.
  • A teacher might pick holes in a student’s argument by identifying weak points or unsupported claims.
  • In a product review, a consumer might pick holes in a product’s design or functionality by highlighting its shortcomings.

24. Rail against

To rail against is to strongly criticize or protest something, often with intense emotion or anger. It implies a passionate and vocal expression of disapproval.

  • For instance, activists might rail against government policies they perceive as unjust or oppressive.
  • A writer might rail against societal norms or conventions in their works.
  • In a public speech, a speaker might rail against corruption or inequality, rallying the audience to take action.

25. Slag off

To slag off is to mock or insult someone or something, often in a lighthearted or sarcastic manner. It implies making fun of or belittling the subject.

  • For example, friends might slag off each other’s fashion choices by jokingly saying, “Nice outfit, fashion icon.”
  • A comedian might slag off a celebrity in their stand-up routine, poking fun at their quirks or behavior.
  • In a friendly banter, colleagues might slag off each other’s work by teasingly saying, “I see you’ve really put your heart and soul into this masterpiece.”

26. Tear a strip off

This phrase means to criticize or chastise someone harshly or angrily.

  • For example, a boss might say, “I’m going to tear a strip off of you if you don’t meet the deadline.”
  • A parent might warn their child, “If you don’t clean your room, I’m going to tear a strip off of you.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might say to another, “Don’t make me tear a strip off of you!”

27. Berate

Berate means to scold or criticize someone severely and angrily.

  • For instance, a teacher might berate a student for not doing their homework.
  • A coach might berate a player for making a mistake during a game.
  • In a disagreement, one person might berate the other for their differing opinion.

28. Carp

Carp means to complain or find fault with something or someone repeatedly.

  • For example, a person might carp about their job, saying, “I can’t stand my boss’s constant criticism.”
  • A customer might carp about the service at a restaurant, saying, “The food took forever to arrive, and it was cold when it finally did.”
  • In a group project, one member might carp about their teammates, saying, “They never contribute anything and always criticize my ideas.”

29. Denigrate

Denigrate means to criticize or belittle someone or something, often unfairly or without justification.

  • For instance, a politician might denigrate their opponent’s character during a campaign.
  • A critic might denigrate a movie, saying, “It lacks originality and depth.”
  • In a personal argument, one person might denigrate the other’s accomplishments, saying, “You’ve never achieved anything significant in your life.”

30. Flay

Flay means to criticize or scold someone severely and publicly, often in a humiliating or demeaning manner.

  • For example, a manager might flay an employee in front of their coworkers for making a mistake.
  • A teacher might flay a student for not completing their assignments, saying, “You’re lazy and irresponsible.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might flay the other, attacking their character and intelligence.
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31. Lambaste

Lambaste is a slang term used to describe the act of strongly criticizing or attacking someone or something. It implies a severe and relentless criticism.

  • For example, “The movie was lambasted by critics for its poor storytelling.”
  • A sports commentator might say, “The team’s performance was lambasted by fans after their embarrassing loss.”
  • A journalist might write, “The politician was lambasted for his controversial remarks.”

32. Pillory

Pillory is a slang term used to describe the act of publicly criticizing or ridiculing someone. It implies exposing someone to public scorn or mockery.

  • For instance, “The celebrity was pilloried on social media for her insensitive comments.”
  • A comedian might say, “I love to pillory politicians in my stand-up routine.”
  • A journalist might report, “The company was pilloried in the press for their unethical business practices.”

33. Skewer

Skewer is a slang term used to describe the act of harshly criticizing or mocking someone or something. It implies a sharp and pointed criticism.

  • For example, “The comedian skewered the politician’s hypocrisy in his monologue.”
  • A restaurant reviewer might write, “The food critic skewered the new restaurant for its subpar dishes.”
  • A movie critic might say, “The film was skewered by audiences for its poor acting and predictable plot.”

34. Take down a peg

Take down a peg is a slang term used to describe the act of criticizing or humbling someone who is arrogant or overconfident. It implies bringing someone down a level or two to make them more humble.

  • For instance, “The boss took the employee down a peg for repeatedly showing up late.”
  • A teacher might say, “I had to take that student down a peg after their disrespectful behavior.”
  • A friend might jokingly say, “I’m here to take you down a peg after that bragging session.”

35. Bad-mouth

Bad-mouth is a slang term used to describe the act of speaking negatively or criticizing someone or something. It implies spreading negative information or opinions.

  • For example, “She always bad-mouths her ex-boyfriend to anyone who will listen.”
  • A customer might complain, “I won’t go back to that restaurant after they bad-mouthed their competitors.”
  • A gossip might say, “I heard her bad-mouth you behind your back.”

36. Drag

To drag someone means to roast or criticize them harshly, often in a public or online setting.

  • For example, “Did you see that celebrity get dragged on social media for their controversial comment?”
  • In a heated argument, one person might say, “I’m about to drag you for your ignorance.”
  • A popular influencer might make a video titled “Drag Me!” where they invite their followers to criticize them.

37. Vilify

To vilify someone means to speak or write about them in an extremely negative way, often with the intention of damaging their reputation.

  • For instance, “The tabloids constantly vilify the actress for her personal life.”
  • In a political debate, one candidate might accuse the other of vilifying their character.
  • A journalist might write an article titled “The Media’s Attempt to Vilify a Public Figure.”