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

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 Conservatives pointed to texts that disparaged Trump during his candidacy as evidence of the FBI’s institutional bias. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Republicans’ Witch Hunt," 18 May 2018 Retailers who didn't participate complained that they were disparaged by port lecturers. David Smiley, miamiherald, "Levine company signed trade agreement after Alaska complaints surfaced | Miami Herald," 9 May 2018 In meetings with her superiors, LaMark Muir described feeling harassed and disparaged because of her gender, email exchanges included in court filings show. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Hartford Settles Lawsuit Alleging Culture Of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Within Police Department," 28 June 2018 There are plenty of reasons to discredit or disparage Justify's Triple Crown. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Did Justify have help from another horse at Belmont? That's nonsense," 11 June 2018 Now the subject of Larry Little’s disparaging tweets, Jason Frey, wants to move the battle to the courtroom. Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "He was booted as team volunteer. His response has led to a lawsuit.," 27 Apr. 2018 Metropolitan launched Stillman's career as the WASP Woody Allen—a description at once disparaging in its simplistic typecasting and arguably true. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Whit Stillman On Directing Jane Austen," 27 Apr. 2016 In the settlement, both Black and Cranley agreed not to disparage each other. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "All the details of City Manager Harry Black's proposed severance settlement," 21 Mar. 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

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on disparage

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


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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