criticizing somebody or something very severely in a way that shows no respect synonym withering a scathing attack on the new management Her father gave her a scathing look. scathing about somebody/something He was scathing about the government's performance.Extra examples a pretty scathing tone of voice He was scathing about the government’s performance. She knew he was about to make some scathing comment. She launched a scathing attack on the new management. She shot him a scathing look.