[ pej-uh-rey-shuh n, pee-juh- ]
/ ˌpɛdʒ əˈreɪ ʃən, ˌpi dʒə- /


depreciation; a lessening in worth, quality, etc.
Historical Linguistics. semantic change in a word to a lower, less approved, or less respectable meaning.Compare melioration(def 1).

Nearby words

  1. peiraievs,
  2. peirce,
  3. peirce, benjamin,
  4. peirce, charles sanders,
  5. peisistratus,
  6. pejorative,
  7. pekan,
  8. peke,
  9. pekepoo,
  10. pekin

Origin of pejoration

1650–60; < Medieval Latin pējōrātiōn- (stem of pējōrātiō) a making worse, equivalent to Late Latin pējōrāt(us) (past participle of pējōrāre to make worse, derivative of pējor worse) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pejoration

British Dictionary definitions for pejoration


/ (ˌpiːdʒəˈreɪʃən) /


linguistics semantic change whereby a word acquires unfavourable connotationsthe English word ``silly'' changed its meaning from ``holy'' or ``happy'' by pejoration Compare amelioration (def. 3)
the process of worsening; deterioration
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 pejoration



1650s, noun of action from pejorate (see pejorative).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper