Definition of belittle in US English:

belittle

verb

[with object]
  • Make (someone or something) seem unimportant.

    ‘this is not to belittle his role’
    ‘she felt belittled’
    • ‘She constantly criticizes and belittles the husband in screaming tones.’
    • ‘If you belittle their opinions or dismiss their problems, they'll stop talking to you.’
    • ‘When he spoke of a sign of personal virtue, he seemed to be belittling the importance of conservation.’
    • ‘He gets off to a bad start by belittling the category and the nominees.’
    • ‘In ignorance, they seek to belittle it and minimise its importance to the individual.’
    • ‘Without belittling the importance of media research, it's time that the rule of the real governed policy as well.’
    • ‘There is no point in ignoring our history or belittling our heritage.’
    • ‘I think she felt it was belittling her loss so I got stuck in and several letters later we got a result.’
    • ‘I'm just not in the mood for that snide voice belittling me, yet.’
    • ‘I am also provoked to wonder about the moral framework of someone who belittles his friends in public.’
    • ‘Her father bullies and belittles her - which may be why she takes a liking to Peter.’
    • ‘I know I make fun of it all the time but this is not to be mistaken for belittling the courage of all those who participate.’
    • ‘I have learnt never to underestimate the worth of young people, nor to ridicule or belittle them.’
    • ‘My purpose here is not to qualify my message by belittling science.’
    • ‘Worse, mom constantly ridiculed Betty, belittling her long nose and unkempt manner of dress.’
    • ‘Do you actually feel more manly or powerful after belittling a fellow human?’
    • ‘He does not dismiss or belittle the gifts and talents that his Creator endowed to him.’
    • ‘How sad to hear commentators belittling the march.’
    • ‘He was someone else entirely; he sneered at me, belittled me and found every excuse to tear apart anything I liked.’
    • ‘His wife, Lori, belittles his obsession and ridicules his dreams.’
    disparage, denigrate, run down, deprecate, depreciate, downgrade, play down, trivialize, minimize, make light of, treat lightly, undervalue, underrate, underestimate
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century: from be- + little; a coinage of Thomas Jefferson originally meaning ‘diminish in size, make small’.

Pronunciation

belittle

/bəˈlɪdl//bəˈlidl/