1 : to lower in rank or reputation : degrade
2 : to depreciate by indirect means (as invidious comparison) : to speak slightingly about
I explained my idea to the supervisor, but he disparaged it as a waste of company resources.
"Lawmakers are not allowed to use partisan language or disparage a colleague or political party in their mailings." - From an article by Katherine Skiba in the Chicago Tribune, November 28, 2011
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."
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