Definition of deride
- got derided by a carnival clown
- politicians deriding their opponents
- were derided as the weaker sex
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my brothers derided our efforts, but were forced to eat their words when we won first place
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When deride was borrowed into English in the 16th century, it came to us by combining the prefix de- with ridēre, a Latin verb meaning "to laugh." Ridēre is also the ancestor of the English words risible ("laughable") and ridiculous. Of course, English has a number of words meaning "to laugh at unkindly"; in addition to deride, we have ridicule, mock, and taunt. Deride suggests laughter loaded with contemptuousness or bitterness, whereas ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling ("consistently ridiculed everything she said"). Mock implies scorn often ironically expressed by mimicry or sham deference ("mocking the speaker's impassioned tones"). Taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge ("hometown fans taunted the visiting team").
First Known Use: circa 1526See Words from the same year
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