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 The absolutism of his thundering tweets that disparaged the childhood vaccination schedule — itself meticulously vetted by experts who would, years later, be answerable to him — only hardened. New York Times, "President Trump on Vaccines: From Skeptic to Cheerleader," 9 Mar. 2020 Barr came under fire Tuesday after career prosecutors withdrew from the Roger Stone case, following president Donald Trump’s tweets disparaging their sentencing recommendations. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Attorney general Bill Barr gets an ethics complaint for Valentine’s Day," 14 Feb. 2020 Part of the reason, Griswold said, is the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada looks a lot like NAFTA, which Trump had disparaged. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Build the wall? Travel ban? Tax cuts? After Trump's State of the Union, here's where he stands on promises," 5 Feb. 2020 Peter Moskos, a Baltimore City police officer from 1999 to 2000 who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said whoever succeeds Cummings will have a bully pulpit to denounce people who disparage the city. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, "They are running for Congress. But their focus is on Baltimore.," 1 Feb. 2020 The messages show that a Trump donor named Robert F. Hyde disparaged Yovanovitch in messages to Parnas and gave him updates on her location and cellphone use. NBC News, "Democrats to investigate 'profoundly alarming' texts that appear to show Yovanovitch surveillance," 15 Jan. 2020 The messages show that a Trump donor named Robert F. Hyde disparaged Yovanovitch in messages to Parnas and gave him updates on her location and cell phone use. Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Democrats to investigate ‘profoundly alarming’ Ukraine texts," 15 Jan. 2020 Maybe this time around, the young environmentalists who once disparaged H2s will be grown, starting families, and ready to come in to their friendly GMC dealer. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Hummer Reportedly Coming Back in 2022 as Electric GMC Pickup," 10 Jan. 2020 The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors. New York Times, "New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair," 23 Nov. 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

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disparage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage. Accessed 30 Mar. 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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