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

Any pretense of impartiality or fairness was cast aside in order to denigrate not only Boris but also anyone who supported him. John O'sullivan, National Review, "Can Anyone Beat Boris?," 9 July 2019 Professor Jeffrey Sammons of New York University said that's largely because of a concerted and well-documented effort by senior white officers to denigrate the performance of black soldiers. Chip Reid, CBS News, "Professors dig through history to prove WWI hero deserves a Medal of Honor," 4 July 2019 Bardsley and Correa are both veterans of the game, 34 and 35 years old respectively, and have come through the years of denigrating female goalkeepers and now – perhaps – out the other side. SI.com, "Women's World Cup Diaries: The Biggest Takeaway So Far? These Goalkeepers Are Special," 22 June 2019 But Trump is wrong, and failure to appreciate this point denigrates the sacrifices of Normandy and of all the years since. Jeffrey A. Engel, Twin Cities, "Jeffrey Engel: The lesson of D-Day for Americans today," 6 June 2019 The president has cast himself as a seasoned statesman capable of standing up to Russian pressure and sought to denigrate his rival as a rookie who would become easy prey for the Kremlin. Geir Moulson, The Seattle Times, "France’s Macron meets Ukraine’s 2 presidential contenders," 12 Apr. 2019 The book debuted with little fanfare and only became well-known once journalists and the public began denigrating Dunleavy, a former tabloid reporter, over his allegations about Elvis's drug use and carousing. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Inside the Enduring Mysteries of Elvis Presley's Death," 16 Mar. 2019 And one of the more common ways to denigrate an opponent in such an argument is to play the purity card. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This isn’t a game: We try out a professional driver-in-the-loop simulator," 9 Aug. 2018 Some New Testament passages in which Paul denigrates women were actually inserted later by male church leaders threatened by Paul's radically inclusive vision, Crossan says. John Blake, CNN, "How Easter became a #MeToo moment," 30 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.

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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

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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