dis·​crim·​i·​na·​to·​ry | \dis-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈkrim-nə-\

Definition of discriminatory 

2 : applying or favoring discrimination in treatment

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Other Words from discriminatory

discriminatorily \-​ˌkri-​mə-​nə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē, -​ˌkrim-​nə-​ \ adverb

Examples of discriminatory in a Sentence

The law prohibits discriminatory hiring practices. a company that was fined for its discriminatory practices in the hiring of women

Recent Examples on the Web

The reality is that the fashion world is still overwhelmingly white, and people of color are subjected to discriminatory and racist practices every day. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Model Devon Windsor Apologizes for "Incredibly Insensitive" Comments about Diversity," 12 Sep. 2018 Actions like this termination are clearly discriminatory and discourages citizens from involvement in their communities. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin treasurer candidate says he was fired from banking job after mounting campaign," 9 July 2018 Such movements and parties stake their existential politics on discriminatory and exclusionary practices (despite the claim of inclusionary intentions of wanting to assimilate the immigrants) which are then further reignited along election cycles. Amro Ali, Time, "Denmark’s “Ghetto” Policies Are an Ominous Sign That Liberal Europe Is Starting to Unravel at the Seams," 3 July 2018 In a statement published on the Facebook page of Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week, the organizers said the decision to ban the march was discriminatory and illegitimate. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 29, 2018," 29 June 2018 Delta Air Lines’ recently announced policy to ban pit bulls as service or support animals has prompted challenges from some who say the policy is discriminatory and may not be legal. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Delta’s ban on pit bull service and support animals faces challenges," 22 June 2018 The new policy allows school names and mascots to be changed if deemed discriminatory and explicitly prevents names that have religious affiliations. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Citizen panel wants different standard of review on police misconduct cases," 9 May 2018 According to a group of three former and current Brandeis players who spoke to Deadspin, athletic director Lynne Dempsey and other officials ignored Meehan's discriminatory and at times abusive behavior for years. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Brandeis Coach Fired After Allegations of 'Racially Biased Harassment'," 6 Apr. 2018 Many women of color were excluded due to discriminatory laws, like Jim Crow, and still face voting barriers to this day. Kate Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Why the United States Constitution Needs An Equal Rights Amendment," 29 Oct. 2018

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

1745, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of discriminatory was in 1745

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English Language Learners Definition of discriminatory

: not fair : unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people


dis·​crim·​i·​na·​to·​ry | \di-ˈskrim-ə-nə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Kids Definition of discriminatory

: showing discrimination : being unfair discriminatory work policies


dis·​crim·​i·​na·​to·​ry | \dis-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌtōr-ē \

Legal Definition of discriminatory 

1 : applying discrimination in treatment

2 : having unlawful discrimination as an effect

Other Words from discriminatory

discriminatorily \-​ˌkri-​mə-​nə-​ˈtōr-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on discriminatory

What made you want to look up discriminatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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