[ den-i-greyt ]
/ ˈdɛn ɪˌgreɪt /
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See synonyms for: denigrate / denigrating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing.

to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone's character.
to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone's contributions to a project.
Archaic. to make black; darken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.



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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
1. See decry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for denigrate

/ (ˈdɛnɪˌɡreɪt) /


(tr) to belittle or disparage the character of; defame
a rare word for blacken
denigration, noundenigrator, noun
C16: from Latin dēnigrāre to make very black, defame, from nigrāre to blacken, from niger black
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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