• synonyms


[verb der-uh-geyt; adjective der-uh-git, -geyt]
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verb (used without object), der·o·gat·ed, der·o·gat·ing.
  1. to detract, as from authority, estimation, etc. (usually followed by from).
  2. to stray in character or conduct; degenerate (usually followed by from).
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verb (used with object), der·o·gat·ed, der·o·gat·ing.
  1. to disparage or belittle.
  2. Archaic. to take away (a part) so as to impair the whole.
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  1. Archaic. debased.
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Origin of derogate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin dērogātus repealed, restricted (past participle of dērogāre), equivalent to dē- de- + rog(āre) to ask + -ātus -ate1
Related formsder·o·ga·tion, nounnon·der·o·ga·tion, nounun·der·o·gat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedabdicate abrogate arrogate derogate

Synonym study

1. See decry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

deprecation, aspersion, ridicule, detraction, denigration, put-down, scorn, disparagement

Examples from the Web for derogation

Historical Examples

  • The pain which is produced by derogation produces effort and self-denial.


    William Graham Sumner

  • I trust that nothing which I have now said will be taken in derogation of the compromises of 1850.

  • In all this there shall be no derogation of our power or of the power of our son and our successors.

  • And then, apparently in derogation of the last inquiry: "Shut up, you!"

    The Librarian at Play

    Edmund Lester Pearson

  • During the austerer days of the republic the derogation was unknown.

British Dictionary definitions for derogation


verb (ˈdɛrəˌɡeɪt)
  1. (intr foll by from) to cause to seem inferior or be in disrepute; detract
  2. (intr foll by from) to deviate in standard or quality; degenerate
  3. (tr) to cause to seem inferior, etc; disparage
  4. (tr) to curtail the application of (a law or regulation)
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adjective (ˈdɛrəɡɪt, -ˌɡeɪt)
  1. archaic debased or degraded
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Derived Formsderogately, adverbderogation, nounderogative (dɪˈrɒɡətɪv), adjectivederogatively, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin dērogāre to repeal some part of a law, modify it, from de- + rogāre to ask, propose a law
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 derogation


mid-15c., from Old French dérogacion (14c.), from Latin derogationem (nominative derogatio), noun of action from past participle stem of derogare (see derogatory).

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early 15c., from Latin derogatus, past participle of derogare "diminish" (see derogatory).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper