der·​o·​gate | \ ˈder-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce derogate (audio) , ˈde-rə- \
derogated; derogating

Definition of derogate

transitive verb

: to cause to seem inferior : disparage derogating another's achievements

intransitive verb

1 : to take away a part so as to impair : detract … a few instances of inaccuracy or mediocrity can never derogate from the superlative merit of Homer and Vergil …— Oliver Goldsmith
2 : to act beneath one's position or character

Other Words from derogate

derogation \ ˌder-​ə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce derogate (audio) , ˌde-​rə-​ \ noun
derogative \ di-​ˈrä-​gə-​tiv How to pronounce derogate (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

Most of us encounter derogatory, the adjective meaning "expressing a low opinion," more frequently than we do derogate, its less common verb relation, but the verb is older; it first appeared in English in the 15th century, while derogatory wasn't adopted until the early 16th. Both words can be traced back to the Late Latin word derogatus, which is the past participle of the verb derogare, meaning "to detract" or "to annul (a law)." Derogare, in turn, derives from the Latin word for "ask," rogāre. Other derogate relatives include derogative, derogation, and derogatorily.

Examples of derogate in a Sentence

The title of the book derogates the people it is about. Her parents are constantly derogating her achievements.
Recent Examples on the Web The key issue is who has the final authority to determine whether the play derogates the spirit or alters the characters. Jack Greiner,, 28 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of derogate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for derogate

Middle English, from Late Latin derogatus, past participle of derogare, from Latin, to annul (a law), detract, from de- + rogare to ask, propose (a law) — more at right

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Cite this Entry

“Derogate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of derogate for Arabic Speakers


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