self-dep·​re·​cat·​ing ˌself-ˈde-pri-ˌkā-tiŋ How to pronounce self-deprecating (audio)
: tending or serving to disparage or undervalue oneself
self-deprecating humor
He is far too self-deprecating … to assume the persona of a celebrity.Eve MacSweeney
self-deprecatingly adverb
… his own informal cluster of American dissident scholars, which self-deprecatingly calls itself the "consolation club" … Franklin Foer

Examples of self-deprecating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Martin himself isn’t even sure what to make of it, deflecting questions about his ascent with equal parts self-deprecating digs and deer-in-headlights astonishment. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 Neurotic and self-deprecating, typically dressed all in black, Mr. Lewis paced the stages of comedy clubs, hanging his head, pulling at his shock of black hair, riffing on his struggles in life and love. Clay Risen, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 In his debate against the Democratic and Republican vice presidential nominees, Al Gore and Dan Quayle, respectively, Stockdale's amiable attempt at self-deprecating humor went awry. Ron Elving, NPR, 30 Mar. 2024 His Beatles-like haircut, self-deprecating attitude and rapport with the new face of baseball made Mizuhara, a 39-year-old from Southern California, a celebrity in his own right. Connor Sheets, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 The pop superstar, known for her vulnerable ballads and self-deprecating grungy hits, performed at Nationwide Arena for her Guts World Tour on Friday. The Enquirer, 26 Mar. 2024 His movie character — there is really only one — is an extension of his stand-up act: frenetic, self-deprecating yet overconfident, fast-talking and, most important, LOUD. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 In true indie film fashion, DeBoer sums up their collaboration with a self-deprecating quip. William Earl, Variety, 9 Mar. 2024 Momoa was quick with the self-deprecating humor, too, in the face of his pal's impressive physique. Alex Ross, Peoplemag, 9 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-deprecating.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-deprecating was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near self-deprecating

Cite this Entry

“Self-deprecating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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