Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

derogatory

play
adjective de·rog·a·to·ry \di-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē\

Simple Definition of derogatory

  • : expressing a low opinion of someone or something : showing a lack of respect for someone or something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of derogatory

  1. 1 :  detracting from the character or standing of something —often used with to, towards, or of

  2. 2 :  expressive of a low opinion :  disparaging <derogatory remarks>

derogatorily

play \-ˌrä-gə-ˈtȯr-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of derogatory in a sentence

  1. The aroma of wine made from Concord … grapes is often described as “foxy,” a wine term as derogatory as it is vague. —Danny May et al., Berkshire Home Style, March 2007

  2. In Powell's memoir, Lemann points out, terms like “expert” and “academic” are clearly derogatory. —Franklin Foer, New Republic, 5 Feb. 2001

  3. Unfortunately, the codes were badly explained and ham-handedly enforced. At Michigan an interpretive guide called “What Students Should Know…” went beyond the scope of the actual code in saying that even a derogatory comment … would be punished by the university. —Laurence R. Stains, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 1993

  4. <fans made a steady stream of derogatory remarks about the players on the visiting team>



What is a derogatory Credit Report?

When derogatory first began to be used in English it had the meaning “detracting from the character or standing of something.” It comes from the verb derogate, which can be traced to the Latin word derogare (“to detract” or “to annul (a law)”). Derogatory quickly took on the additional meaning “disdainful, disparaging,” as may be seen in the word’s frequent use in “derogatory comment.” Derogatory is increasingly seen today in credit reports, although it should not be taken as a credit card company making unkind comments on the character of the cardholder. In this context it refers to something (such as a late payment, foreclosure, or bankruptcy) that will have a negative effect on a person’s credit score.

Origin and Etymology of derogatory

(see derogate)


First Known Use: circa 1503


DEROGATORY Defined for Kids

derogatory

play
adjective de·rog·a·to·ry \di-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē\

Definition of derogatory for Students

  1. :  expressing a low opinion of a person or thing <a derogatory remark>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up derogatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accommodate accomodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ