[dih-skrim-uh-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]


characterized by or showing prejudicial treatment, especially as an indication of bias related to age, color, national origin, religion, sex, etc.: discriminatory practices in housing; a discriminatory tax.

Origin of discriminatory

First recorded in 1820–30; discriminate + -ory1
Related formsdis·crim·i·na·to·ri·ly, adverbnon·dis·crim·i·na·to·ry, adjectiveun·dis·crim·i·na·to·ry, adjective
Can be confuseddiscriminating discriminatory
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for discriminatory

prejudiced, biased, inequitable, unfair

Examples from the Web for discriminatory

Contemporary Examples of discriminatory

Historical Examples of discriminatory

British Dictionary definitions for discriminatory


discriminative (dɪˈskrɪmɪnətɪv)


based on or showing prejudice; biased
capable of making fine distinctions
(of a statistical test) unbiased
Derived Formsdiscriminatorily or discriminatively, adverb
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 discriminatory

1828; see discriminate + -ory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper