from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To represent or speak of as contemptibly small or unimportant; disparage: a person who belittled our efforts to do the job right.
- transitive v. To cause to seem less than another or little: The size of the office tower belittles the surrounding buildings. See Synonyms at decry.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To make little or less in a moral sense; to speak of in a depreciatory or contemptuous way.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make small or smaller; reduce in proportion or extent.
- To cause to appear small; depreciate; lower in character or importance; speak lightly or disparagingly of.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of
- v. cause to seem less serious; play down
- v. express a negative opinion of
From be- + little. Coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 in "Notes on the State of Virginia": "So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic." (Wiktionary)