[ den-i-greyt ]
See synonyms for: denigratedenigrating on

verb (used with object),den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing.
  1. to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone's character.

  2. to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone's contributions to a project.

  1. Archaic. to make black; darken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.

Origin of denigrate

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin dēnigrātus (past participle of dēnigrāre “to blacken”), equivalent to dē- de- + nigr(āre) “to make black” + -ātus -ate1

synonym study For denigrate

1. See decry.

Other words for denigrate

Other words from denigrate

  • den·i·gra·tion [den-i-grey-shuhn], /ˌdɛn ɪˈgreɪ ʃən/, noun
  • den·i·gra·tive, adjective
  • den·i·gra·tor, noun
  • den·i·gra·to·ry [den-i-gruh-tawr-ee], /ˈdɛn ɪ grəˌtɔr i/, adjective
  • self-den·i·grat·ing, adjective

Words Nearby denigrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use denigrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for denigrate


/ (ˈdɛnɪˌɡreɪt) /

  1. (tr) to belittle or disparage the character of; defame

  2. a rare word for blacken

Origin of denigrate

C16: from Latin dēnigrāre to make very black, defame, from nigrāre to blacken, from niger black

Derived forms of denigrate

  • denigration, noun
  • denigrator, 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