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

Bulls management believed Adams had been disparaging the organization to some of his colleagues around the league. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Former Bulls assistant Ron Adams is the 'truth teller' on Steve Kerr's Warriors staff," 2 June 2018 Last September, Senator John McCain said President Trump still hadn’t apologized for disparaging his war record at the start of his presidential campaign. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Following Trump’s Lead, White House Will Not Apologize for McCain ‘Dying’ Remark," 14 May 2018 The unprecedented possible move to question Makan Delrahim, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, comes as the companies are making Trump’s public comments disparaging the deal a central facet of their defense. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "AT&T May Call a Controversial Witness to Get the Time Warner Merger Approved," 14 Feb. 2018 After disparaging the entire continent of Africa, Trump stood in the White House, surrounded by black leaders, and signed a proclamation commemorating the Martin Luther King Anniversary. Jeff Darcy, cleveland.com, "False missile alert human errors: Darcy cartoon," 17 Jan. 2018 Most importantly to our purposes now, the new AG has frequently disparaged the Mueller investigation. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Mueller Protection Rapid Response”," 11 Nov. 2018 An analysis by the Journal found that 80% of the tweets had conservative-leaning political messages, often disparaging the health law. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "Nearly 600 Russia-Linked Accounts Tweeted About the Health Law," 12 Sep. 2018 So far, the militant group has refused to talk with the Kabul government, disparaging it as a ‘‘puppet’’ regime and demanding direct talks with the United States. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Afghan president ends truce amid rising Taliban attacks," 30 June 2018 William Cullen Bryant disparages it, without explanation. John E. Mcintyre, baltimoresun.com, "A bogus rule collides with the English language," 1 May 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

22 Jan 2019

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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

formal : 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).


excited commotion or publicity

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