denigrate

[ den-i-greyt ]
/ ˈdɛn ɪˌgreɪt /

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.
to make black; blacken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.

Nearby words

  1. denial-of-service,
  2. denial-of-service attack,
  3. denialist,
  4. denidation,
  5. denier,
  6. denigration,
  7. deniker,
  8. denim,
  9. denimed,
  10. denims

Origin of denigrate

1520–30; < Latin dēnigrātus (past participle of dēnigrāre to blacken), equivalent to dē- de- + nigr(āre) to make black + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See decry.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for denigration

denigrate

/ (ˈdɛnɪˌɡreɪt) /

verb

(tr) to belittle or disparage the character of; defame
a rare word for blacken
Derived Formsdenigration, noundenigrator, noun

Word Origin for denigrate

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

Word Origin and History for denigration
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper