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

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

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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 (meaning "equality" or "lineage"), which itself comes from per, meaning "peer." The original "marriage" sense of disparage is now obsolete, but a closely-related sense (meaning "to lower in rank or reputation") survives in modern English. By the 16th century, English speakers (including William 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.
Recent Examples on the Web In the days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the leader of a pro-Putin biker club gang, the Night Wolves, turned to Facebook to disparage the Ukrainian president and push falsehoods about the war. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 And Russia has played a role, exploiting social media to disparage the use of natural gas and fossil fuels. John Fund, National Review, 27 Feb. 2022 As the days and the big wins went on, Schneider became a fixture in the nanasphere (grandma’s kitchen TV, the activity room at the senior center), charming even the demographic that might be prompted to disparage people like her. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 Jamie referred to the #FreeBritney movement as conspiracy theories for years, and continued to disparage his daughter and her team after agreeing to step down. Marisa Dellatto, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 Meanwhile, the professional community continued to disparage the site. Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2021 Mitchell said the effort is not to disparage the Maryland medical examiner’s office or its work. Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2022 It’s been rumored that NFL officials ordered the singers not to disparage the police or kneel, à la Colin Kaepernick. Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2022 The legal action filed today makes clear that CNN wrongfully terminated Chris and further violated the express terms of his employment agreement by allowing its employees to disparage him. Virginia Chamlee, PEOPLE.com, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disparage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for disparage


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

More from Merriam-Webster on disparage

Nglish: Translation of disparage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disparage for Arabic Speakers


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