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 derogatorily (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

Farca said in one post, using a derogatory term to refer to Jewish people, according to court records. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Fueled by Nazi fascination, Concord man allegedly plotted to massacre Jewish people, police officers," 14 June 2019 Movies many now consider classics of the era, including Teen Wolf, Footloose, Pretty in Pink, The Monster Squad, and Heathers, all contain derogatory terms for gays. Dan Kopf, Quartzy, "Before We Knew Better: Transphobia was at the very center of Ace Ventura," 31 May 2019 Even before the tweets came to light, the district was already investigating separate allegations of derogatory remarks from Clark in the classroom. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A teacher asked Trump to round up ‘illegal students’ – in tweets she thought were private," 4 June 2019 Much of the campaign’s vitriol was fueled by Rokita, who embraced Trump's brash rhetorical style and often used derogatory nicknames to refer to his opponents. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Senate race: Mike Braun wins GOP primary in huge upset over 2 sitting congressmen," 8 May 2018 Trump, meanwhile, has continued his use of the derogatory nickname, including during a White House event in November honoring Native American veterans. Adam Edelman, NBC News, "Warren hits Trump on ‘Pocahontas’ slur, details her Native American roots," 14 Feb. 2018 Pacification efforts to curtail crime in these communities (also called favelas, though this term has developed a derogatory connotation over time) have not entirely worked. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Rio de Janeiro, Right Now: 5 Reasons to Visit the Extraordinary Brazilian City," 19 Mar. 2019 The tweets include derogatory and homophobic jokes. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why There Isn't an Oscars Host In 2019: A Comprehensive Timeline," 23 Feb. 2019 Dixon Vice Mayor Ted Hickman's newspaper column using derogatory names for gay men angered a lot of people. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "Derogatory column about gays to draw protesters to Dixon," 10 July 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

26 Jun 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 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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