Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To represent or speak of as unimportant or contemptible: synonym: disparage.
  • transitive verb To cause to seem little or smaller than something else.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make little or less in a moral sense; to speak of in a depreciatory or contemptuous way.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is.

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

  • verb lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of
  • verb cause to seem less serious; play down
  • verb express a negative opinion of

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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."

Examples

  • In this, great numbers of caves are hollowed out, and carvings are seen which suggest architectural forms, though on a scale so grand that architectural terms belittle them.

    Canyons of the Colorado

  • Roestorf further maintained that the commission proceedings should not be used to "belittle" any person testifying before it.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • During the campaign, Nieves frequently took to the local radio airwaves to "belittle" Bell,

    STLtoday.com Top News Headlines

  • During the campaign, Nieves frequently took to the local radio airwaves to "belittle" Bell,

    STLtoday.com Top News Headlines

  • McHenry, who has no military experience, uses the occasion to "belittle" security personnel for properly carrying out their duties in a war zone and to bolster his image by exaggerating the extent of danger he was facing.

    WN.com - Articles related to West Bengal notifies amnesty for Maoists

  • During the campaign, Nieves frequently took to the local radio airwaves to "belittle" Bell,

    STLtoday.com Top News Headlines

  • McHenry, who has no military experience, uses the occasion to "belittle" security personnel for properly carrying out their duties in a war zone and to bolster his image by exaggerating the extent of danger he was facing.

    WN.com - Articles related to West Bengal notifies amnesty for Maoists

  • But Chris Gardner, a Washington County commissioner who attended Monday's event, said in a phone interview it would be wrong to "belittle" any permanent jobs that are created in that part of Maine.

    BangorDailyNews.com > News

  • So, if I hurt your feelings - I do apologize, but it was not my intention to 'belittle'

    Tennis-X.com :: Xtreme Tennis News

  • ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is the victim of "a sustained campaign in the media" and inaccurate media reports that "belittle" him, the ruling party said on Tuesday.

    Muti

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.