1

belittling

adjective be·lit·tling \ bi-ˈli-tᵊl-iŋ , -ˈlit-liŋ , bē- \
Updated on: 27 Apr 2018

Definition of belittling

: expressing disparagement : disparaging, depreciatory
  • a set of belittling stereotypes
  • "I think it might embarrass Stuart to hear mice mentioned in such a belittling manner."
  • —E. B. White
  • Nisbett's attitude is far from belittling toward Eastern cultures.
  • —Christopher Shea
  • There was … a certain loftiness and sweetness that rebuked your belittling criticisms and stilled them.
  • —Mark Twain

belittlingly

adverb
    • … she is secretly carrying on a love affair with her mousy first cousin, belittlingly known to the family as Little Charles …
    • —Charles Isherwood

First Known Use of belittling

1793

in the meaning defined above

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2

belittling

noun

Definition of belittling

: a disparaging statement
  • Bernheim's fiercely focused, cantankerous Frieda … practically steals the show with her nonstop maternal belittlings
  • —Robert Hurwitt
: disparagement, deprecation
  • His constant belittling of her work led Joan to believe that she was incompetent …
  • —Sharon Freedburg

Recent Examples of belittling from the Web

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

First Known Use of belittling

1837

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


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