Definition of denigrate in English:



  • Criticize unfairly; disparage.

    ‘there is a tendency to denigrate the poor’
    • ‘While no one believes it, few would be willing to admit it for, among other reasons, fear of denigrating the service of reserve personnel.’
    • ‘He would have us celebrate a political process close to home while denigrating the same process when it occurs a little further away.’
    • ‘They insult their opponents, they denigrate their arguments and they offer few facts.’
    • ‘Recent ‘throw-away’ comments by the institute denigrating A-level standards have angered teachers.’
    • ‘Rather than denigrating insurers, it would be instructive for Nation readers to hear from an actuary or underwriter.’
    • ‘But denigrating weblogs because they're introspective is like declaring the bicycle pointless because we have oil tankers.’
    • ‘Members of the travelling community have been accused of denigrating the appearance of a local historical monument.’
    • ‘Their obvious unfettered delight in denigrating these two prominent citizens made me feel sick.’
    • ‘It's just that we as critics have tended to stand apart and denigrate the content.’
    • ‘The new parliament [building] has been unfairly denigrated.’
    • ‘Rational people judge the message without denigrating the messenger.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘I wouldn't for a moment wish to decry or denigrate the very real achievements made by disabled people.’
    • ‘I think it treats readers like idiots, insults their intelligence and denigrates the whole point of delivering news in the first place.’
    • ‘When it was published I found that my methods were denigrated by critics who were not sympathetic to my findings.’
    • ‘Time is also looking over the critic's shoulder when he or she denigrates the language of such writers.’
    • ‘These critics claim he denigrates the ‘real’ moral values of Sri Lankan rural life.’
    • ‘On Wednesday, an anonymous source sent a bundle of articles to the camp denigrating the peace advocates.’
    • ‘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
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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’).