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[dih-rog-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /dɪˈrɒg əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
tending to lessen the merit or reputation of a person or thing; disparaging; depreciatory:
a derogatory remark.
Origin of derogatory
1495-1505; < Late Latin dērogātōrius cursing, equivalent to dērogā(re) (see derogate) + -tōrius -tory1
Related forms
derogatorily, adverb
derogatoriness, noun
nonderogatorily, adverb
nonderogatorilyness, noun
nonderogatory, adjective
belittling, uncomplimentary, denigrating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for derogatory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That officer thought the ox-cart was derogatory to the dignity of the army.

    Bulgaria Frank Fox
  • In his haste he had said derogatory things about Robin in his heart, which was unreasonable.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • He bristled at the derogatory title but he covered it quickly.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • She used the caste rating as though it was not quite a derogatory term.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • They warmly shook hands, as Roger did not consider it derogatory.

    Roger Willoughby William H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for derogatory


/dɪˈrɒɡətərɪ; -trɪ/
tending or intended to detract, disparage, or belittle; intentionally offensive
Derived Forms
derogatorily, adverb
derogatoriness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for derogatory

c.1500, from Late Latin derogatorius, from Latin derogatus, past participle of derogare "to take away, detract from, diminish," also "repeal partly, restrict, modify," from de- "away" (see de-) + rogare "ask, question, propose" (see rogation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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