[ bih-lit-l ]
/ bɪˈlɪt l /

verb (used with object), be·lit·tled, be·lit·tling.

to regard or portray as less impressive or important than appearances indicate; depreciate; disparage.

Origin of belittle

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; be- + little
Related formsbe·lit·tle·ment, nounbe·lit·tler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for be-little

  • The Baroness, when she desired to be-little the doctor, always called her a female.

    Is He Popenjoy?|Anthony Trollope
  • In saying these things there is no desire to be-little the reputation of any man; the facts were as here stated.

    The Bbur-nma in English|Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

British Dictionary definitions for be-little


/ (bɪˈlɪtəl) /

verb (tr)

to consider or speak of (something) as less valuable or important than it really is; disparage
to cause to make small; dwarf
Derived Formsbelittlement, nounbelittler, nounbelittlingly, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for be-little


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper