Definition of derogatory in English:



  • Showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.

    ‘she tells me I'm fat and is always making derogatory remarks’
    • ‘The people who made the derogatory remarks were a group whose tongues may have been loosened by drink.’
    • ‘Why should you and I be forced to suffer repeated use of a derogatory professional insult?’
    • ‘A nightclub boss has been suspended following an allegation over a racially derogatory remark.’
    • ‘People have lost their jobs over derogatory remarks made in blogs, but can you be sued for libel or defamation?’
    • ‘I find the consistently derogatory comments about the people who ride motorcycles totally unacceptable.’
    • ‘Much urban music is plagued by an attitude towards women and gay people that is derogatory.’
    • ‘Peers often hold back and may refer to the gifted person in derogatory terms.’
    • ‘Secondly, irritating, defamatory and derogatory comments left at this site by visitors will be deleted.’
    • ‘Almost every reference to them employs demeaning and derogatory stereotypes.’
    • ‘They sang rebel songs and made the odd derogatory remark about the yeomen.’
    • ‘Some time ago on this site I made some derogatory comments about birds.’
    • ‘The use of slang has been common among doctors for years, despite official disapproval of derogatory terms.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, this choice of discipline might have attracted derogatory remarks.’
    • ‘He said that we could not refer to groups of people in derogatory terms.’
    • ‘I would also ask her to listen carefully, and not to dismiss you with derogatory remarks.’
    • ‘And bear in mind I mean no disrespect and that the term used is definitely not derogatory in any way.’
    • ‘I was disappointed that he had to resort to derogatory and intolerant remarks to try to be funny.’
    • ‘People stood on platforms, violently gesticulating and calling each other derogatory names.’
    • ‘I could only make out my name and from her tone of voice I realized that it was used in derogatory terms.’
    • ‘Buying the best talent around and then making derogatory remarks about other professionals is a swift route to antagonism.’
    disparaging, denigratory, belittling, diminishing, slighting, deprecatory, depreciatory, depreciative, detracting, deflating
    disrespectful, demeaning, discrediting, dishonouring
    critical, pejorative, negative, unfavourable, disapproving, uncomplimentary, unflattering, insulting
    offensive, personal, abusive, vituperative, rude, spiteful, nasty, mean
    hurtful, damaging, injurious
    defamatory, slanderous, libellous, scurrilous, calumnious, calumniatory, vilifying, traducing
    mud-slinging, bitchy, catty
    View synonyms


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘impairing in force or effect’): from late Latin derogatorius, from derogat- abrogated, from the verb derogare (see derogate).