derogatory

adjective
de·​rog·​a·​to·​ry | \ di-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē \

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 \ -​ˌrä-​gə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē \ 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

Research has shown that the existence of racist and derogatory mascots and team names at schools can establish an unwelcome and hostile learning environment for Native youth, impacting their self-esteem and mental health. Teen Vogue, "New Mexico Teacher Accused of Calling a Native Student a "Bloody Indian" and Cutting Another's Hair on Halloween," 3 Dec. 2018 The markings, which largely contained either scribbles or derogatory language directed at police, appeared sometime overnight between May 4 and 5, Capt. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Graffiti containing threat to police appears in Greenfield," 8 May 2018 And the latest comments about Manigault-Newman are hardly the first time the president has made derogatory remarks about women or people of color on Twitter. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Trump calling Omarosa a “dog” isn’t just racist or sexist. It’s part of a pattern.," 14 Aug. 2018 Then in August of 2016 over drinks in a London bar, Papadopoulos told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the Russians had derogatory information on Hillary Clinton. Fox News, "Sen. Lindsey Graham: I want Ford to be heard," 18 Sep. 2018 Buffalo Wild Wings is standing up and taking swift action after at least one of its employees was rude to a homeless man, leaving a hurtful, derogatory message on a receipt. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Buffalo Wild Wings Gives Homeless Man Free Wings for a Year After Employee Writes Horrid Message on Receipt," 31 May 2018 Burbank police are investigating a possible hate crime after an apartment building was vandalized with a swastika and several derogatory messages late last month. Andy Nguyen, latimes.com, "Vandals tag homes with hate speech, scrawl profanities on vehicle, Burbank police say," 5 Apr. 2018 The Vernon Parish School Board in Leesville, La., is investigating a derogatory message found Thursday afternoon (March 8) on a Pickering High School teacher's overhead screen, according to a report from The Leesville Daily Leader. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, NOLA.com, "Vernon school board investigates derogatory message seen on teacher's screen: report," 9 Mar. 2018 There was nothing derogatory found and that's why it's moved forward. Fox News, "Ingraham: The rush to judgment and injustice for Kavanaugh," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for derogatory

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for derogatory

The first known use of derogatory was circa 1503

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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 \

Kids Definition of derogatory

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

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