denigrate

verb
den·​i·​grate | \ ˈde-ni-ˌgrāt \
denigrated; denigrating

Definition of denigrate

transitive verb

1 : to attack the reputation of : defame denigrate one's opponents
2 : to deny the importance or validity of : belittle denigrate their achievements

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from denigrate

denigration \ ˌde-​ni-​ˈgrā-​shən \ noun
denigrative \ ˈde-​ni-​ˌgrā-​tiv \ adjective
denigrator \ -​ˌgrā-​tər \ noun
denigratory \ ˈde-​ni-​grə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

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.

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of them cited Trump’s statements denigrating minorities, Muslims, women and the LGBTQ population. Tom Foreman Jr., The Seattle Times, "Republican convention set for August 2020 in Charlotte," 1 Oct. 2018 President Trump is openly denigrating the Federal Reserve on Twitter. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Behind the Market Swoon: The Herdlike Behavior of Computerized Trading," 25 Dec. 2018 Tennis superstar Serena Williams, for example, got denigrated after arguing with, and demanding an apology from, a U.S. Open umpire who issued her a series of violations. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "For Female Political Candidates, Sometimes the Biggest Threat Isn’t Losing an Election," 17 Sep. 2018 Female rage rises with every dismissed and denigrated allegation of abuse. Megan Feldman Bettencourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Forgiveness Has Been Weaponized Against Women," 25 Sep. 2018 On top of those scandals was Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, whose female-denigrating fraternity rant was leaked to Valleywag in 2014. Alexandra Wolfe, Marie Claire, "Inside the Androgynous Sexual Wasteland of Silicon Valley," 19 Dec. 2016 For one thing, as Margon points out, no U.S. president has spoken about human rights the denigrating way Trump has. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "U.S. withdrawal from U.N. Human Rights Council reflects Trump hypocrisy | Trudy Rubin," 20 June 2018 The report puts the panel at odds with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, who issued their own report this year, and the president, who has continued to denigrate the intelligence agencies’ assessment. Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, "Senate panel backs up intelligence agencies, says Russia aimed to help Trump in election," 4 July 2018 His behavior could be characterized as bullying and making employees feel denigrated and uncomfortable.’’ Van der Kolk’s firing is already having repercussions in the field. Liz Kowalczyk, BostonGlobe.com, "Allegations of employee mistreatment roil renowned Brookline trauma center," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denigrate.' 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 denigrate

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denigrate

Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about denigrate

Listen to Our Podcast about denigrate

Dictionary Entries near denigrate

denicotinize

denier

denier à dieu

denigrate

Deniker

denim

Denis

Statistics for denigrate

Last Updated

2 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for denigrate

The first known use of denigrate was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for denigrate

denigrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of denigrate

: to say very critical and often unfair things about (someone)

: to make (something) seem less important or valuable

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on denigrate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!