Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.
  • transitive v. To reduce in esteem or rank.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Inequality in marriage; marriage with an inferior.
  • v. To match unequally; to degrade or dishonor.
  • v. To dishonor by a comparison with what is inferior; to lower in rank or estimation by actions or words; to speak slightingly of; to depreciate; to undervalue.
  • v. To ridicule, mock, discredit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Inequality in marriage; marriage with an inferior.
  • transitive v. To match unequally; to degrade or dishonor by an unequal marriage.
  • transitive v. To dishonor by a comparison with what is inferior; to lower in rank or estimation by actions or words; to speak slightingly of; to depreciate; to undervalue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To marry to one of inferior condition or rank; degrade by an unequal match or marriage; match unequally.
  • To injure or dishonor by a comparison, especially by treating as equal or inferior to what is of less dignity, importance, or value.
  • To undervalue; criticize or censure unjustly; speak slightingly of; vilify.
  • To bring reproach on; lower the estimation or credit of; discredit; dishonor.
  • Synonyms Depreciate, Detract from, etc. See decry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. express a negative opinion of

Etymologies

Middle English disparagen, to degrade, from Old French desparager : des-, dis- + parage, high birth (from per, peer; see peer2).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French desparager, from des- + parage ("equal rank, rank"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Those that by sin disparage themselves, and will not by repentance humble themselves, are justly debased, and humbled, and brought low, by the judgments of God.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • An activist group supporting Provenge called Care to Live in October announced a $500 reward " for comprehensive information leading to the confirmed identification of the person " who anonymously emailed doctors this summer to " disparage " Provenge.

    Medicare to Review Cancer Treatment

  • "It did not 'disparage' or 'cast aspersions' on the series itself, which many of us at The Times admired as an example of the in-depth reporting the Journal used to do with some regularity."

    Bill Keller Responds to the Journal's Latest Accusation

  • How exactly did that guy "disparage" the military, by the way?

    Uh oh, ...

  • On the other hand, you say it's unreasonable for me to "disparage" the work of groups that focus their governments on issues in Tibet.

    Free Advice for the Free Tibet Crowd

  • For NBC to say that they won't run ads that "disparage" the president is beyond sick, it's beyond un-American.

    10/27/2006

  • The networks are still a very powerful public opinion instrument, and allowing them to become political propaganda venues -- where messages that "disparage" the Leader are prohibited while all sorts of pro-Leader messages are allowed -- has the potential to be quite harmful.

    The networks' refusal to accept ads for The Dixie Chicks documentary

  • But exploring such implications — even when it means revealing Spenser's anxiety regarding the English language or Shakespeare's concern with his own social status and the status of the public theater — does not "disparage" literature, as Kermode seems to suppose.

    'Forms of Nationhood'

  • He does not doubt the truth of the unluckily blabbed secret; false harlot, false traitor, false clerk, are all words that tell his belief; but Mr Horne, not understanding "disparage," as it is here used by Chaucer, wholly mistakes the cause of the father's fury.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845

  • Allison Black correctly spelled "disparage" in the 10th round of the 83rd annual competition, according to the Birmingham News.

    The Times-Journal: News

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