verb dis·par·age \ di-ˈsper-ij , -ˈspa-rij \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of disparage

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


play \-ij-mənt\ noun






play \-ij-iŋ-lē\ adverb

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Examples of disparage in a Sentence

  1. Voters don't like political advertisements in which opponents disparage one another.

  2. It's a mistake to disparage their achievements.

  3. The article disparaged polo as a game for the wealthy.

Recent Examples of disparage from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

DISPARAGE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of disparage for English Language Learners

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

DISPARAGE Defined for Kids


verb dis·par·age \ di-ˈsper-ij \

Definition of disparage for Students

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


\-mənt\ noun

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