Definition of denigrate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdenəˌɡrāt/


[with object]
Criticize unfairly; disparage: there is a tendency to denigrate the poor
More example sentences
  • The new parliament [building] has been unfairly denigrated.
  • I think it treats readers like idiots, insults their intelligence and denigrates the whole point of delivering news in the first place.
  • It's just that we as critics have tended to stand apart and denigrate the content.
disparage, belittle, deprecate, decry, cast aspersions on, criticize, attack;
speak ill of, give someone a bad name, defame, slander, libel;
run down, abuse, insult, revile, malign, vilify, slur
informal badmouth, dis, pull to pieces, talk smack



Pronunciation: /ˈdenəˌɡrādər/
Example sentences
  • Don't listen to the denigrators - the health service can be wonderful.
  • Right now, I'm a supporter of all and a denigrator of none.
  • In fact, fair use of the book's content will provide many illuminating facts and vignettes about U.S. agricultural history, but will not prove a source of ammunition for either its celebrators or denigrators.


Pronunciation: /ˈdenəɡrəˌtôrē/
Example sentences
  • He carried on telling us that he could not think of a word in his language which would translate ‘racism’ in the way we use it in our language, although, clearly, there were ways of referring to other people or nations in a denigratory way.
  • I had to explain that as a mentor of young adult fiction, I see a lot of genre fiction that fits the genre okay but isn't worth developing further, which is more denigratory than I like to be in an introductory session.
  • Yet backwardness might not be tantamount to barbarism, or even ‘backward’ in any denigratory way.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'blacken, make dark'): from Latin denigrat- 'blackened', from the verb denigrare, from de- 'away, completely' + nigrare (from niger 'black').

  • To denigrate someone is to blacken their reputation. The original meaning of the word, in the late Middle Ages, was ‘to make black or dark in colour’; the modern sense developed in the early 16th century. The root of the word is Latin niger ‘black’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: den·i·grate

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