Share this entry
derogatory Line breaks: de¦roga|tory
Pronunciation: /dɪˈrɒɡət(ə)ri/

Definition of derogatory in English:


Showing a critical or disrespectful attitude: she tells me I’m fat and is always making derogatory remarks
More example sentences
  • The people who made the derogatory remarks were a group whose tongues may have been loosened by drink.
  • I was disappointed that he had to resort to derogatory and intolerant remarks to try to be funny.
  • People have lost their jobs over derogatory remarks made in blogs, but can you be sued for libel or defamation?
disrespectful, demeaning, discrediting, dishonouring;
critical, pejorative, negative, unfavourable, disapproving, uncomplimentary, unflattering, insulting;
offensive, personal, abusive, vituperative, rude, spiteful, nasty, mean;
hurtful, damaging, injurious;
informal mud-slinging, bitchy, catty
archaic contumelious


Example sentences
  • Many of the incomers (or ‘white settlers’, as they are sometimes derogatorily known) are seeking a better quality of life away from the big cities.
  • Roma, derogatorily known as gypsies, have lived in Eastern Europe since about 1300.
  • This is why serious astrologers shrink away from what is somewhat derogatorily referred to as ‘sun-sign astrology‘.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'impairing in force or effect'): from late Latin derogatorius, from derogat- 'abrogated', from the verb derogare (see derogate).

Words that rhyme with derogatory

interrogatory, supererogatory
Definition of derogatory in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources