dis·​par·​age | \ di-ˈsper-ij How to pronounce disparage (audio) , -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 \ di-​ˈsper-​ij-​mənt How to pronounce disparagement (audio) , -​ˈspa-​rij-​ \ noun
disparager noun

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 Since he was indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes, Netanyahu has repeatedly sought to disparage the police and prosecutors, accusing them of being biased against him and seeking to force him out of office. Tia Goldenberg, Star Tribune, "Netanyahu slams Israeli police amid report about cover-up," 8 Sep. 2020 But over generations, the word morphed into a misogynist and racist term to disparage Indigenous women. Bloomberg.com, "Olympic Ski Resort Squaw Valley to Drop ‘Offensive’ Name," 29 Aug. 2020 But Trump, who has recently refused to apologize for the dissemination of lies over the course of his presidency, continued to disparage his predecessor, making nonsensical accusations of corruption and treason. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "The Trump Rampage Against Michelle Obama’s Speech Is Just Getting Started," 18 Aug. 2020 What was striking was how careful many Convention speakers were not to disparage voters who had thought, in 2016, that Trump himself wouldn’t be this bad. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Did the Democratic National Convention Go Too Smoothly?," 23 Aug. 2020 The Order has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that monitors extremist activity, because of its teachings that disparage Black people and the LGBTQ community. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Donald Trump Jr. appeared in promotion for gun company run by prominent member of polygamous group," 19 Aug. 2020 Trump and his supporters often disparage Biden’s mental acuity — pot, meet kettle — but in the video version of the interview Biden doesn’t stumble or get lost. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Why Cardi B's Joe Biden interview is a must-see — even if it's not hard-hitting journalism," 17 Aug. 2020 DiMartino did not disparage the production, despite no longer being involved. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'Avatar: The Last Airbender' fans unhappy with creators leaving Netflix show," 14 Aug. 2020 Questions about the mental fitness of Trump, 74, and Biden, 77, have been testy at times as both men disparage each other while defending their own prowess. Dallas News, "Biden says border wall construction will stop if he’s elected president," 5 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for disparage

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disparage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for disparage


How to pronounce disparage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disparage

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


dis·​par·​age | \ di-ˈsper-ij How to pronounce disparage (audio) \
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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