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.

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 Forms

denigration, 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