verb (used with object), dep·re·cat·ed, dep·re·cat·ing.

to express earnest disapproval of.
to urge reasons against; protest against (a scheme, purpose, etc.).
to depreciate; belittle.
Archaic. to pray for deliverance from.

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

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

Examples from the Web for deprecatingly

Historical Examples of deprecatingly

  • "My appetite will come back to me in a morning or two," he deprecatingly observed.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Deprecatingly she looked up at her only child, standing in judgment over her.

  • Oh, Socrates (he answered, deprecatingly), will you not leave it to the arbitrament of Cleinias?

  • She raised her drooping head and again regarded him deprecatingly.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham

  • "I didn't want you to think I was running after him," she cries, deprecatingly.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for deprecatingly


verb (tr)

to express disapproval of; protest against
to depreciate (a person, someone's character, etc); belittle
archaic to try to ward off by prayer
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 deprecatingly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper