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

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 By poking fun at herself and calling herself names, Sloan takes the power back from what may traditionally be seen as derogatory terms. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sasha Sloan Proves There’s Power in Owning Your Insecurities," 15 Jan. 2019 November 30, 2018 Kid Rock calls Joy Behar a derogatory name on Fox and Friends. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Star Joy Behar and Kid Rock's Feud Goes Further Back Than People Realize," 3 Dec. 2018 Many Democrats have called Whitaker to withdraw from the probe being handled by Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors, citing derogatory comments that Whitaker made about the inquiry before joining the department. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "Justice legal opinion backs Whitaker’s naming as acting AG," 14 Nov. 2018 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

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 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on derogatory

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