dis·​par·​age | \ di-ˈsper-ij, -ˈspa-rij\
disparaged; disparaging

Definition of disparage

transitive verb

1 : to depreciate (see depreciate sense 1) by indirect means (such as invidious comparison) : speak slightingly about religious beliefs disparaged as superstition
2 : to lower in rank or reputation : degrade

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Other Words from disparage

disparagement \ -​ij-​mənt \ noun
disparager noun
disparaging adjective
disparagingly \ -​ij-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for disparage

decry, depreciate, disparage, belittle mean to express a low opinion of. decry implies open condemnation with intent to discredit. decried their defeatist attitude depreciate implies a representing as being of less value than commonly believed. critics depreciate his plays for being unabashedly sentimental disparage implies depreciation by indirect means such as slighting or invidious comparison. disparaged polo as a game for the rich belittle usually suggests a contemptuous or envious attitude. belittled the achievements of others

Did You Know?

In Middle English, to disparage someone meant causing that person to marry someone of inferior rank. Disparage derives from the Anglo-French word desparager, meaning "to marry below one's class." Desparager, in turn, combines the negative prefix des- with parage ("equality" or "lineage"), which itself comes from per, meaning "peer." The original "marriage" sense of disparage is now obsolete, but a closely-related sense ("to lower in rank or reputation") survives in modern English. By the 16th century, English speakers (including Shakespeare) were also using disparage to mean simply "to belittle."

Examples of disparage in a Sentence

Voters don't like political advertisements in which opponents disparage one another. It's a mistake to disparage their achievements. The article disparaged polo as a game for the wealthy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most importantly to our purposes now, the new AG has frequently disparaged the Mueller investigation. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Mueller Protection Rapid Response”," 11 Nov. 2018 An analysis by the Journal found that 80% of the tweets had conservative-leaning political messages, often disparaging the health law. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "Nearly 600 Russia-Linked Accounts Tweeted About the Health Law," 12 Sep. 2018 So far, the militant group has refused to talk with the Kabul government, disparaging it as a ‘‘puppet’’ regime and demanding direct talks with the United States. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Afghan president ends truce amid rising Taliban attacks," 30 June 2018 William Cullen Bryant disparages it, without explanation. John E. Mcintyre, baltimoresun.com, "A bogus rule collides with the English language," 1 May 2018 On the sidelines waits the mop-haired Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who profanely disparaged May's Brexit plans as a big pile of excrement before agreeing to support her. Author: William Booth, Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, "Theresa May's government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018 Trustee Brian Mosallam tried to change the meeting agenda and allow a vote to fire John Engler, who had disparaged victims and their lawyers in emails that surfaced last week. CBS News, "Michigan State University's governing board rejects effort to oust school's interim president," 22 June 2018 Also, Trump's talent pool is smaller than usual, reflecting both his resistance to hiring Republican establishment figures who disparaged his candidacy and some Republicans' unwillingness to work for him. Christi Parsons, latimes.com, "Trump faults Democrats as top jobs remain unfilled, but he bears blame (and Senate Republicans too)," 25 Mar. 2018 He was removed from Mr. Mueller’s office last year after the inspector general uncovered texts exchanged between Mr. Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, that were disparaging of Donald Trump. Del Quentin Wilber, WSJ, "FBI’s Peter Strzok Agrees to Appear Before Lawmakers," 17 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for disparage

Middle English, to degrade by marriage below one's class, disparage, from Anglo-French desparager to marry below one's class, from des- dis- + parage equality, lineage, from per peer

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Statistics for disparage

Last Updated

24 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for disparage

The first known use of disparage was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for disparage



English Language Learners Definition of disparage

: to describe (someone or something) as unimportant, weak, bad, etc.


dis·​par·​age | \ di-ˈsper-ij \
disparaged; disparaging

Kids Definition of disparage

: to speak of as unimportant or bad : belittle He disparaged the other team.

Other Words from disparage

disparagement \ -​mənt \ noun

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