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1

pejorative

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noun pe·jo·ra·tive \pi-ˈjȯr-ə-tiv, -ˈjär- also ˈpe-jə-rə-tiv or ˈpē- or -ˌrā- or ˈpej-rə- or ˈpēj-\

Definition of pejorative

  1. :  a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle :  a pejorative word or phrase



Origin of pejorative

(see 2pejorative)


First Known Use: 1882

Rhymes with pejorative


2

pejorative

play
adjective pe·jo·ra·tive \pi-ˈjȯr-ə-tiv, -ˈjär- also ˈpe-jə-rə-tiv or ˈpē- or -ˌrā- or ˈpej-rə- or ˈpēj-\

Simple Definition of pejorative

  • : insulting to someone or something : expressing criticism

Full Definition of pejorative

  1. :  having negative connotations; especially :  tending to disparage or belittle :  depreciatory

pe·jo·ra·tive·ly adverb

Examples of pejorative

  1. Children born with an extra chromosome 21 are healthy, conspicuously happy and destined to live for many years. But they are not considered, in that pejorative word, ‘normal’. —Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999

  2. The word barbarian was used by the Greeks, to designate an alien, and therefore, by definition, someone inferior in culture to a Hellene. The Romans applied this in the pejorative sense to the people who came to live along the Rhine-Danube frontier. —Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, 1993

  3. On occasion they expressed a preference for the terms Latino or Hispanic if that would assist them in escaping from the term Puerto Rican, which became, at times, almost pejorative. —John Hope Franklin, “The Land of Room Enough,” 1981, in Race and History, 1989

  4. a word with pejorative connotations

  5. <the reviewer used the pejorative word versifier to refer to the writer, whose poems had struck a responsive chord with the general public>



Origin of pejorative

Late Latin pejoratus, past participle of pejorare to make or become worse, from Latin pejor worse; akin to Sanskrit padyate he falls, Latin ped-, pes foot — more at foot


First Known Use: circa 1888



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