Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Ways of making or receiving criticism or blame

against

preposition

used for saying who is accused of doing something wrong

charming

adjective

used for saying that you do not like what someone has done

someone can dish it out but they can’t take it

used for saying that someone often criticizes other people but does not like being criticized

where does someone get off doing something?

used for saying that you think someone is wrong to behave in a particular way

look at

used for telling someone that you are not impressed by them, especially in reply to a comment that they have made about you or your behaviour

mea culpa

interjection

used for saying that something is your fault

OK

interjection

used when you want someone to stop arguing with you or criticizing you. This word often shows that you accept what they are saying but do not think it is important

pick on someone your own size

used for telling someone to stop criticizing or attacking someone who is smaller or weaker than them

really

adverb, interjection

used for showing that you do not approve of what someone has done or said

would

modal verb

used when criticizing someone by saying that a particular action is typical of someone

don’t get me wrong

used when you want to make sure that someone understands your comments correctly, especially when you are criticizing something

down with...

used for showing that you are opposed to a leader, government etc and you want to get rid of them. People shout this when they are protesting

fair comment

used for saying that you accept a statement or criticism

fair do’s

used for drawing attention to something good about someone although you are criticizing other things about them

far be it from me to do something

used as a way of telling someone that you do not want to criticize them, disagree with them, or say something negative when in fact this is what you are doing

get off my back

used for telling someone to stop criticizing you or telling you what to do

I’m bound to say

used when you are going to say something that may annoy or upset someone, for example because it expresses a criticism

I don’t know

used for criticizing someone

if the cap fits (wear it)

used for saying that if someone thinks that a general criticism you have made is true about them, they should accept the criticism

in (all) fairness

used for making your criticism of someone or something seem less strong

it takes two to tango

used for saying that two people or groups involved in a bad situation must both take responsibility for it

my bad

used for admitting that something is your fault

now now

used for showing someone that you do not approve of the way that they are behaving

people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

used for saying that people who have faults should not criticize other people for having the same faults

present company excepted

used for saying that a criticism that you are making does not refer to the person or people who are with you

shall I/we say

used for making a statement or criticism seem less severe or offensive

shame on you

used for telling someone that they should feel guilty or embarrassed

isn’t he/she just/doesn’t he/she just?

used for emphasizing that you completely agree with what someone has just said, especially a criticism

it’s/that’s someone’s funeral

used for saying that someone must accept the unpleasant results of doing something stupid or harmful

nice/good try

used for saying that someone has not been successful in doing something, especially in persuading you or in tricking you

someone can talk/someone is a fine one to talk/look who’s talking

used for emphasizing that you think someone is giving advice or an opinion that is the opposite of how they live or what they do themselves

someone’s fingerprints are on/all over something

used for saying that you can see someone’s influence on something

thanks to

used for saying that you blame someone or something for something bad that happened

that’s rich

used for saying that a criticism that someone makes is unreasonable because they themselves can be criticized for the same thing

the buck stops here/with someone

used for saying who should accept the responsibility for something

the pot calling the kettle black

used for saying that someone is criticizing another person for a fault that they also have

to be fair

used for making your criticism of someone or something seem less strong

to give someone their due

used when you are going to say something good about someone, after you have been criticizing them

to put it mildly

used for saying that a situation is much worse than the words that you are using to talk about it

to put it politely

used for saying that you are not criticizing something as much as you could

what was someone thinking of?

used for saying that you think someone has done something stupid

with (all) due respect

used when you are going to disagree with someone or criticize someone, in order to sound more polite

with all (due) respect

used for showing that you are about to disagree with someone or criticize them in a polite way

you have only (got) yourself to blame

to say or think that someone or something is responsible for an accident, problem, or bad situation

dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

dividend

a share of the profits of a company, paid once or twice a year to the people who own the...

Open Dictionary

subtweet

to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog