Simple Definition of denigrate
: to say very critical and often unfair things about (someone)
: to make (something) seem less important or valuable
Full Definition of denigrate
denigrationplay \ˌde-ni-ˈgrā-shən\ noun
denigrativeplay \ˈde-ni-ˌgrā-tiv\ adjective
denigratorplay \-ˌgrā-tər\ noun
denigratoryplay \ˈde-ni-grə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective
Examples of denigrate in a sentence
Her story denigrates him as a person and as a teacher.
No one is trying to denigrate the importance of a good education. We all know that it is crucial for success.
denigrating the talents and achievements of women
Did You Know?
If you "denigrate" someone, you attempt to blacken their reputation. It makes sense, therefore, that "denigrate" can be traced back to the Latin verb denigrare, meaning "to blacken." When "denigrate" was first used in English in the 16th century, it meant to cast aspersions on someone's character or reputation. Eventually, it developed a second sense of "to make black" ("factory smoke denigrated the sky"), but this sense is somewhat rare in modern usage. Nowadays, of course, "denigrate" can also refer to belittling the worth or importance of someone or something.
Origin and Etymology of denigrate
Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black
First Known Use: 1526
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