[pi-jawr-uh-tiv, -jor-, pej-uh-rey-, pee-juh-]


having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force: the pejorative affix -ling in princeling.


a pejorative form or word, as poetaster.

Nearby words

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

Origin of pejorative

1880–85; < Latin pējōrāt(us) (see pejoration) + -ive

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

Examples from the Web for pejorative

British Dictionary definitions for pejorative



(of words, expressions, etc) having an unpleasant or disparaging connotation


a pejorative word, expression, etc
Derived Formspejoratively, adverb

Word Origin for pejorative

C19: from French péjoratif, from Late Latin pējōrātus, past participle of pējōrāre to make worse, from Latin pēior worse

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 pejorative



"depreciative, disparaging," 1888, from French péjoratif, from Late Latin peiorat-, past participle stem of peiorare "make worse," from Latin peior "worse," related to pessimus "worst," pessum "downward, to the ground," from PIE *ped-yos-, comparative of root *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair" (see peccadillo). As a noun from 1882. English had a verb pejorate "to worsen" from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper