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[self-dep-ri-key-ting, self-] /ˈsɛlfˈdɛp rɪˌkeɪ tɪŋ, ˌsɛlf-/
belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest.
Also, self-deprecatory [self-dep-ri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, self-] /ˈsɛlfˈdɛp rɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌsɛlf-/ (Show IPA).
Related forms
self-deprecatingly, adverb
self-deprecation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for self-deprecatory
Historical Examples
  • He attempted a self-deprecatory smile which ended in an unpleasant grimace.

    No Clue James Hay
  • And I knew even better than she, with her mother's self-deprecatory confidence on 'loyalty' in my ears!

    The Romantic Lady Michael Arlen
  • This estimate of his "notes" was, as always, self-deprecatory; but there was no denying a great measure of truth to the statement.

  • He smiled up at the Judge a self-deprecatory smile, as if to ask him not to mind his foolishness but to listen to his story.

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
  • He smiled out of his leaden eyes the ghost of his glittering, old, self-deprecatory smile.

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
  • Christopher Wray, in 1570, spoke for two hours in this self-deprecatory style.

  • Macpherson regarded us both with that self-deprecatory smile which had several times lighted up his face.

British Dictionary definitions for self-deprecatory


having a tendency to disparage oneself
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 self-deprecatory



1835, from self- + deprecating (see deprecate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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