Definition of denigrate in English:



  • Criticize unfairly; disparage.

    ‘there is a tendency to denigrate the poor’
    • ‘On Wednesday, an anonymous source sent a bundle of articles to the camp denigrating the peace advocates.’
    • ‘Recent ‘throw-away’ comments by the institute denigrating A-level standards have angered teachers.’
    • ‘It's just that we as critics have tended to stand apart and denigrate the content.’
    • ‘He would have us celebrate a political process close to home while denigrating the same process when it occurs a little further away.’
    • ‘While no one believes it, few would be willing to admit it for, among other reasons, fear of denigrating the service of reserve personnel.’
    • ‘I wouldn't for a moment wish to decry or denigrate the very real achievements made by disabled people.’
    • ‘Their obvious unfettered delight in denigrating these two prominent citizens made me feel sick.’
    • ‘Time is also looking over the critic's shoulder when he or she denigrates the language of such writers.’
    • ‘I think it treats readers like idiots, insults their intelligence and denigrates the whole point of delivering news in the first place.’
    • ‘‘I'm only human,’ he whines, thereby denigrating the rest of his otherwise noble species.’
    • ‘But tables like this do not take account of the fact that some of our children are getting double what they have been predicted to achieve, and it upsets me because this denigrates their achievement.’
    • ‘The new parliament [building] has been unfairly denigrated.’
    • ‘Rather than denigrating insurers, it would be instructive for Nation readers to hear from an actuary or underwriter.’
    • ‘They insult their opponents, they denigrate their arguments and they offer few facts.’
    • ‘Members of the travelling community have been accused of denigrating the appearance of a local historical monument.’
    • ‘But denigrating weblogs because they're introspective is like declaring the bicycle pointless because we have oil tankers.’
    • ‘Rational people judge the message without denigrating the messenger.’
    • ‘These critics claim he denigrates the ‘real’ moral values of Sri Lankan rural life.’
    • ‘When it was published I found that my methods were denigrated by critics who were not sympathetic to my findings.’
    • ‘Any discussion of the concept will be used to criticise and denigrate it.’
    disparage, belittle, diminish, deprecate, cast aspersions on, decry, criticize unfairly, attack, speak ill of, speak badly of, blacken the character of, blacken the name of, give someone a bad name, sully the reputation of, spread lies about, defame, slander, libel, calumniate, besmirch, run down, abuse, insult, slight, revile, malign, vilify
    bad-mouth, slate, do a hatchet job on, pull to pieces, pull apart, sling mud at, throw mud at, drag through the mud
    rubbish, slag off, have a go at
    asperse, derogate, vilipend, vituperate
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense blacken, make dark): from Latin denigrat- blackened from the verb denigrare, from de- away, completely + nigrare (from niger black).