Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — lambaste

Good morning, Netizens...

November 19, 2012

Word of the Day

  • lambaste
  • audio pronunciation
  • \lam-BAYST\


: to assault violently : beat, whip
: to attack verbally : censure

The coach loudly lambasted Danny in front of the whole team for showing up late yet again.

"Even as Michigan lawmakers lambaste the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not moving fast enough to develop a permanent plan to stop Asian carp from swimming up the Chicago canal system and into Lake Michigan, genetic evidence that the fish are on the march continues to grow." — From an article by Dan Egan in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 9, 2012


The origins of "lambaste" are somewhat uncertain, but the word was most likely formed by combining the verbs "lam" and "baste," both of which mean "to beat severely." (Incidentally, "lambaste" can also be spelled "lambast," despite the modern spelling of the verb "baste.") Some other synonyms of "lambaste" include "pummel," "thrash," and "pound." "Pummel" suggests beating with one's fists ("the bully pummeled the smaller child until teachers intervened"). "Pound" also suggests heavy blows, though perhaps not quite so much as "pummel," and may imply a continuous rain of blows ("she pounded on the door"). "Thrash" means to strike repeatedly and thoroughly as if with a whip ("the boxer thrashed his opponent").

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.