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 disparagement (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 Dolly takes her mean alter-ego too far, of course, disparaging everyone and everything in front of her, from Joni Mitchell and Eddie Vedder to her teachers and family. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "‘How to Build a Girl’ is a delightfully edgy coming-of-age tale," 7 May 2020 Separately, while Trump disparaged and dismissed the nuclear deal, Iran with European support initially attempted to stay within its requirements. Los Angeles Times, "With coronavirus raging, are Trump and Iran moving toward confrontation again?," 22 Apr. 2020 Modly made the trip to deliver an address to the Roosevelt crew disparaging Crozier, an action that would cost him his job. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "2nd Roosevelt sailor in ICU; probe complete into ship’s outbreak, captain’s actions," 14 Apr. 2020 After transcripts and audio surfaced showing that Modly had disparaged Capt. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Cost of Navy secretary's trip to Guam? $243,000, his job and isolation after coronavirus exposure," 8 Apr. 2020 Trash talking is usually taunting or disparaging comments to an opposing team to throw them off their game. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Wendell Holland reacts to his Survivor villain edit and Michele drama," 1 Apr. 2020 Female employees who wanted to get married and/or have children faced disparaging comments. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Leader of ASU events program in L.A. harassed, discriminated against employees, university report says," 13 Dec. 2019 The case revolves around an Austrian politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, who sought to have Facebook (FB) remove disparaging comments about her that had been posted on an Irish person's page. Chris Isidore, CNN, "A court ordered Facebook to take down a post. The decision could affect social media around the world," 3 Oct. 2019 After signing a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox following the 2014 World Series, Sandoval made several disparaging comments about the organization. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "What’s next for Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants?," 24 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disparage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for disparage


How to pronounce disparage (audio)

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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