derogatory

adjective
de·​rog·​a·​to·​ry | \ di-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce derogatory (audio) \

Definition of derogatory

1 : expressive of a low opinion : disparaging derogatory remarks a derogatory term
2 : detracting from the character or standing of something often used with to, towards, or of … abstained from saying a word derogatory to his new friend's religion …— Anthony Trollope

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Other Words from derogatory

derogatorily \ di-​ˌrä-​gə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce derogatory (audio) \ adverb

What is a derogatory Credit Report?

When derogatory first began to be used in English it had the meaning “detracting from the character or standing of something.” It comes from the verb derogate, which can be traced to the Latin word derogare (“to detract” or “to annul (a law)”). Derogatory quickly took on the additional meaning “disdainful, disparaging,” as may be seen in the word’s frequent use in “derogatory comment.” Derogatory is increasingly seen today in credit reports, although it should not be taken as a credit card company making unkind comments on the character of the cardholder. In this context it refers to something (such as a late payment, foreclosure, or bankruptcy) that will have a negative effect on a person’s credit score.

Examples of derogatory in a Sentence

The aroma of wine made from Concord … grapes is often described as "foxy," a wine term as derogatory as it is vague. — Danny May et al., Berkshire Home Style, March 2007 In Powell's memoir, Lemann points out, terms like "expert" and "academic" are clearly derogatory. — Franklin Foer, New Republic, 5 Feb. 2001 Unfortunately, the codes were badly explained and ham-handedly enforced. At Michigan an interpretive guide called "What Students Should Know … " went beyond the scope of the actual code in saying that even a derogatory comment … would be punished by the university. — Laurence R. Stains, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 1993 fans made a steady stream of derogatory remarks about the players on the visiting team
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Recent Examples on the Web On top of the Covid-19 complications, both the Tokyo Olympics chief, Yoshiro Mori, and the Tokyo Olympics creative head, Hiroshi Sasaki, were forced to resign after making derogatory remarks about women. Matias Grez, CNN, 20 Mar. 2021 Others wrote of racist or other derogatory comments. BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2021 There is vigorous debate over whether the chant is offensive since the offending word is said to have many meanings in Spanish, one of which is a derogatory slur used to demean gay men. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2021 McCammond’s old tweets included derogatory stereotypes about Asians and slurs for gay people. BostonGlobe.com, 10 May 2021 Over the years, this has resulted in a range of derogatory stereotypes and slurs. Soon Yu, Forbes, 10 May 2021 Footage from the night showed the large statue, which was later identified as the USS Maine, defaced with red paint and tagged with derogatory phrases aimed at police. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, 23 Apr. 2021 With this new characterization, Ward decided to ditch any of Pepe’s affectations that could be seen as derogatory toward Spanish speakers; hence, the name change and the elimination of certain catchphrases and most notably Pepe’s garbled accent. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 20 Apr. 2021 There was a show there featuring derogatory impressions of Lincoln, Grant and other national leaders. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 16 Apr. 2021

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

circa 1503, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for derogatory

see derogate

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Time Traveler for derogatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of derogatory was circa 1503

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Statistics for derogatory

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Derogatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derogatory. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for derogatory

derogatory

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of derogatory

: expressing a low opinion of someone or something : showing a lack of respect for someone or something

derogatory

adjective
de·​rog·​a·​to·​ry | \ di-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce derogatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of derogatory

: expressing a low opinion of a person or thing a derogatory remark

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