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 disparage (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 Hayden was dismayed to see how critics have used Floyd's past to disparage him in his police encounter. Maya Rao, Star Tribune, "At George Floyd's treatment center, recovering clients see racism in addiction assumptions," 11 Apr. 2021 The point here is not to disparage the American women who selflessly volunteer to wear their nation’s cloth, especially as many American women have found themselves down range under enemy fire in the last few decades. The Editors, National Review, "The Army Considers Backtracking on Its New Gender-Neutral Fitness Test," 16 Mar. 2021 Nowadays, Butler explains, purity culture allows for white evangelicals to disparage Black families who don’t adhere to the two-parent model, while, again, not applying the same moral codes to their own leaders. Audrey Clare Farley, The New Republic, "The Post-Trump Crack-Up of the Evangelical Community," 16 Mar. 2021 Scott was frustrated that Hogan would disparage his health department. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "Hogan says Baltimore has gotten more COVID vaccines than it’s ‘entitled to,’ drawing outrage from city leaders," 26 Feb. 2021 State law also prohibits companies from forcing people to sign agreements promising not to disparage the company as a condition of employment. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, "Silicon Valley likes to use NDAs. A California bill could let more employees speak out," 8 Feb. 2021 This isn’t to disparage the Bills, who before their Chiefs loss had won 11 of 12, with that only loss on a Kyler Murray Hail Mary. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Are we sure the Cleveland Browns aren’t the third-best team in the NFL? Doug Lesmerises," 31 Jan. 2021 And many are taking to the review sections of Amazon and Yelp to disparage products and businesses including MyPillow and Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Trump supporting business MyPillow, real estate agent Jenna Ryan attacked in reviews on Amazon," 21 Jan. 2021 Already, conspiracy theorists, QAnon supporters, and far-right groups believe COVID-19 to be a hoax or a nonissue, and this network, alongside traditional anti-vaccine activists, will downplay or disparage the vaccines. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 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

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

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Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disparage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for disparage



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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