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verb (used with object), dep·re·cat·ed, dep·re·cat·ing.
  1. to express earnest disapproval of.
  2. to urge reasons against; protest against (a scheme, purpose, etc.).
  3. to depreciate; belittle.
  4. Archaic. to pray for deliverance from.
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Origin of deprecate

1615–25; < Latin dēprecātus prayed against, warded off (past participle of dēprecārī), equivalent to dē- de- + prec(ārī) to pray + -ātus -ate1
Related formsdep·re·cat·ing·ly, adverbdep·re·ca·tion, noundep·re·ca·tor, nounhalf-dep·re·cat·ing, adjectivehalf-dep·re·cat·ing·ly, adverbnon·dep·re·cat·ing, adjectivenon·dep·re·cat·ing·ly, adverbun·dep·re·cat·ed, adjectiveun·dep·re·cat·ing, adjectiveun·dep·re·cat·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confuseddeprecate depreciate (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for deprecate

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Synonym study

1. See decry.

Usage note

An early and still the most current sense of deprecate is “to express disapproval of.” In a sense development still occasionally criticized by a few, deprecate has come to be synonymous with the similar but etymologically unrelated word depreciate in the sense “belittle”: The author modestly deprecated the importance of his work. In compounds with self-, deprecate has almost totally replaced depreciate in modern usage: Her self-deprecating account of her career both amused and charmed the audience.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for deprecated

derogate, discountenance, frown, object, rip, disesteem, expostulate, detract, disfavor, disparage, pooh-pooh, depreciate, discommend

Examples from the Web for deprecated

Historical Examples of deprecated

  • The use of purely local terms in all writing is to be deprecated.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force

    Sir Winston S. Churchill

  • Family quarrels are, of all other dissentions, the most to be deprecated.

  • But Sabbataï deprecated the homage; of Redemption he spake no word.

  • The recognition of Hayti as an independent state was to be deprecated.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson

  • He knew it was addressed to Allen, and that it deprecated war, and that it was mocking.

    Wayside Courtships

    Hamlin Garland

British Dictionary definitions for deprecated


verb (tr)
  1. to express disapproval of; protest against
  2. to depreciate (a person, someone's character, etc); belittle
  3. archaic to try to ward off by prayer
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Derived Formsdeprecating, adjectivedeprecatingly, adverbdeprecation, noundeprecative, adjectivedeprecatively, adverbdeprecator, noun

Word Origin for deprecate

C17: from Latin dēprecārī to avert, ward off by entreaty, from de- + precārī to pray


Avoid confusion with depreciate
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 deprecated



1620s, "to pray against or for deliverance from," from Latin deprecatus, past participle of deprecari "to pray (something) away" (see deprecation). Meaning "to express disapproval" is from 1640s. Related: Deprecated, deprecating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper