[self-dep-ri-key-ting, self-]


belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest.

Also self-dep·re·ca·to·ry [self-dep-ri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, self-] /ˈsɛlfˈdɛp rɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌsɛlf-/.
Related formsself-dep·re·cat·ing·ly, adverbself-dep·re·ca·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-deprecatory

Historical Examples of self-deprecatory

  • He attempted a self-deprecatory smile which ended in an unpleasant grimace.

    No Clue

    James Hay

  • And I knew even better than she, with her mother's self-deprecatory confidence on 'loyalty' in my ears!

    The Romantic Lady

    Michael Arlen

  • This estimate of his "notes" was, as always, self-deprecatory; but there was no denying a great measure of truth to the statement.

  • He smiled up at the Judge a self-deprecatory smile, as if to ask him not to mind his foolishness but to listen to his story.

    In the Heart of a Fool

    William Allen White

  • He smiled out of his leaden eyes the ghost of his glittering, old, self-deprecatory smile.

    In the Heart of a Fool

    William Allen White

British Dictionary definitions for self-deprecatory




having a tendency to disparage oneself
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 self-deprecatory



1835, from self- + deprecating (see deprecate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper