denigrate

verb
den·​i·​grate | \ ˈde-ni-ˌgrāt How to pronounce denigrate (audio) \
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

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Other Words from denigrate

denigration \ ˌde-​ni-​ˈgrā-​shən How to pronounce denigration (audio) \ noun
denigrative \ ˈde-​ni-​ˌgrā-​tiv How to pronounce denigrative (audio) \ adjective
denigrator \ ˈde-​ni-​ˌgrā-​tər How to pronounce denigrator (audio) \ noun
denigratory \ ˈde-​ni-​grə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce denigratory (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical. Washington Post, "Singer says opera’s Domingo harassed her, grabbed her breast," 7 Sep. 2019 The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical. Jocelyn Gecker And Jocelyn Noveck, USA TODAY, "11 more women accuse opera singer Placido Domingo of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior," 5 Sep. 2019 The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical. Jocelyn Gecker, chicagotribune.com, "11 more women accuse opera singer Placido Domingo of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior," 5 Sep. 2019 China used fake accounts and state media to spread disinformation and denigrating comments about Hong Kong protestors across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Security News This Week: Cryptocurrency Miners Expose Nuclear Plant to Internet," 24 Aug. 2019 Ferrari is essentially claiming that Plein is harnessing its iconic imagery to bolster his own brand and also denigrate Ferrari’s. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "A fashion designer Instagrammed his shoes on top of his Ferrari, and Ferrari is threatening to sue," 2 Aug. 2019 Nike should apologize to Americans for denigrating the flag. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Nike flag flap leaves conservatives looking for "not so woke" shoes," 3 July 2019 While some lawyers familiar with the judge’s temperament are quick to defend him, Hughes has a reputation for tossing out off-the cuff comments that recipients perceive as denigrating to women and people of color. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Houston judge questions capability of federal prosecutor in San Jacinto County death penalty case," 19 June 2019 Posts denigrating the Rohingya and Muslims are very common and include anti-Muslim material reposted from Indian and European and U.S. right-wing organizations and individuals. Fox News, "Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension," 22 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for denigrate

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for denigrate

The first known use of denigrate was in 1526

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More Definitions for denigrate

denigrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of denigrate

formal
: to say very critical and often unfair things about (someone)
: to make (something) seem less important or valuable

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Comments on denigrate

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