Difference Between Admonish and Rebuke

Key Difference – Admonish vs Rebuke
 

The two verbs admonish and rebuke both mean to correct or caution someone critically. Although these two verbs can be used interchangeably in many instances, there is a subtle difference in the meaning of them. Admonish means to speak to someone in a way that expresses disapproval or criticism. Rebuke means to speak in an angry and critical way to someone. Thus, rebuking can be more harsh and sharp than admonishing. This is the key difference between admonish and rebuke.

What Does Admonish Mean?

Admonish means to speak to someone in a way that expresses disapproval or criticism or counsel someone against something. In other words, it implies the giving of advice or a warning in order to rectify or avoid something. For example,

Counsel:

His doctor admonished him to eat more healthy food.

He admonished his followers to love everyone alike.

I admonished him to reduce his alcohol intake.

Expressing Disapproval:

I admonished them for laughing at the old woman.

My grandmother admonished me for wearing pants for dinner.

The teacher admonished the students for not doing homework.Difference Between Admonish and Rebuke

What Does Rebuke Mean?

Rebuke means to speak in an angry and critical way to someone.  It also refers to sharp, often angry criticism from a higher authority. For example,

His chief strongly rebuked him for breaking the rules.

I was forced to rebuke her harshly for her frivolous and irresponsible behaviour.

The police officer rebuked the father for not paying attention to his child.  

His mother rebuked him for drinking too much.

Many critics rebuked the new writer, saying that his claims are outrageous.

Rebuke often refers to a harsher and sharper criticism than admonish. Thus, rebuke can also be used to criticise a harsher or more serious fault than admonish. This fact can also be observed if you look at the examples more carefully. For example,

Rebuking someone for breaking the law vs Admonishing someone for ignoring parent’s advice

Key Difference - Admonish vs  Rebuke

What is the difference between Admonish and Rebuke?

Definition:

Admonish refers to giving of advice or a warning in order to rectify or avoid something.

Rebuke refers to sharp, often angry criticism from a higher authority.

Harshness:

Admonish is not as harsh or critical as rebuke.

Rebuke is harsh and angry criticism.

Fault:

Admonish may be used with a less serious fault.

Rebuke may be used with a more serious fault.

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