belittle

verb
be·​lit·​tle | \ bi-ˈli-tᵊl How to pronounce belittle (audio) , bē-\
belittled; belittling\ bi-​ˈli-​tᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce belittling (audio) , -​ˈlit-​liŋ , bē-​ \

Definition of belittle

transitive verb

1 : to speak slightingly of : disparage belittles her efforts
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from belittle

belittlement \ bi-​ˈli-​tᵊl-​mənt How to pronounce belittlement (audio) , bē-​ \ noun
belittler \ bi-​ˈli-​tᵊl-​ər How to pronounce belittler (audio) , -​ˈlit-​lər , bē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of belittle in a Sentence

The critic belittled the author's work. Her detractors are in the habit of belittling her accomplishments.

Recent Examples on the Web

At work, his boss, Mr. Carsvile, also demeaned and belittled him. Mike Oliver | Moliver@al.com, al, "My Vinyl Countdown is all ears as it enters The Twighlight Zone," 17 Aug. 2019 Cagnina and Peterson claimed they were repeatedly humiliated and belittled in front of their colleagues at several Hooters locations in California, including Costa Mesa, downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Daily Pilot, "Biz News: Man who sued Hooters alleging sexual harassment reaches settlement," 13 Aug. 2019 On Saturday, Nail sent de la Torre an email claiming that people involved with the university had been telling him that the president had belittled his service as dean. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former dean accuses SDSU president of promoting ‘political litmus test’ for top jobs," 12 Aug. 2019 This is paired with Rockaway’s sobering depictions of sexism in tech – the way her co-workers not only harass Mel but also belittle and discredit her abilities purely because of her gender is infuriating, and sadly, all too relatable. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Hot Stuff: July romances offer 'knotty' self-discovery," 30 July 2019 The 29-year-old, who grew up in Watts, California, eschews the boxing tradition of belittling his opponent or verbally pounding his chest to elevate his status. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Brandon Adams appreciative for his shot against Houston's Jermall Charlo," 26 June 2019 This toxic mix shamefully belittles the horrors of the Holocaust and amounts to a slander against American border agents facing an impossible situation. Jonathan Deluty, National Review, "Don’t Compare the Situation on the Border to the Holocaust," 16 July 2019 The paradox here is finding comfort in belittling myself, which, magically, works no matter the height. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "The View From 5-Foot-3 (and a Half)," 15 June 2019 The birth of the Premier League in 1992 has led to all previous title victories and domestic successes being disregarded and belittled - just ask 18-time league winners Liverpool. SI.com, "Alfredo Di Stefano: Ode to the Man Who Surpassed All Records," 7 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belittle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of belittle

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about belittle

Statistics for belittle

Last Updated

29 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belittle

The first known use of belittle was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for belittle

belittle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of belittle

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

belittle

verb
be·​lit·​tle | \ bi-ˈli-tᵊl How to pronounce belittle (audio) \
belittled; belittling

Kids Definition of belittle

: to make (a person or a thing) seem small or unimportant She belittled his efforts.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on belittle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belittle

Spanish Central: Translation of belittle

Nglish: Translation of belittle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belittle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on belittle

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!