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belittle

play
verb be·lit·tle \bi-ˈli-təl, bē-\

Simple Definition of belittle

  • : to describe (someone or something) as little or unimportant

Full Definition of belittle

be·lit·tledbe·lit·tlingplay \-ˈli-təl-iŋ, -ˈlit-liŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to speak slightingly of :  disparage <belittles her efforts>

  3. 2 :  to cause (a person or thing) to seem little or less <a curiosity so vast that it almost belittled the main matter — Mark Twain>

be·lit·tle·ment play \-ˈli-təl-mənt\ noun
be·lit·tler play \-ˈli-təl-ər, -ˈlit-lər\ noun

Examples of belittle

  1. The critic belittled the author's work.

  2. Her detractors are in the habit of belittling her accomplishments.



1797

First Known Use of belittle

1797

Synonym Discussion of belittle

decry, depreciate, disparage, belittle mean to express a low opinion of. decry implies open condemnation with intent to discredit <decried their defeatist attitude>. depreciate implies a representing as being of less value than commonly believed <critics depreciate his plays for being unabashedly sentimental>. disparage implies depreciation by indirect means such as slighting or invidious comparison <disparaged polo as a game for the rich>. belittle usually suggests a contemptuous or envious attitude <belittled the achievements of others>.


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