verb (used with object), denigrated, denigrating.
to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone's character.
to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone's contributions to a project.
to make black; blacken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.

1520–30; < Latin dēnigrātus (past participle of dēnigrāre to blacken), equivalent to dē- de- + nigr(āre) to make black + -ātus -ate1

denigration, noun
denigrative, adjective
denigrator, noun
denigratory [den-i-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , adjective
self-denigrating, adjective
self-denigration, noun

1. malign, besmirch, slander, traduce, disparage, vilify. See decry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
denigrate (ˈdɛnɪˌɡreɪt)
1.  (tr) to belittle or disparage the character of; defame
2.  a rare word for blacken
[C16: from Latin dēnigrāre to make very black, defame, from nigrāre to blacken, from niger black]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1526, from L. denigratus, pp. of denigrare "to blacken, defame," from de- "completely" + nigr-, stem of niger "black," of unknown origin. "Apparently disused in 18th c. and revived in 19th c." [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's more fashionable to denigrate than praise the media these days.
We've all heard people denigrate women's basketball because it's slower and
  different from the men's game.
Don't denigrate the poor, they're smarter about how to do with less then you
  could possibly imagine.
Now you know that those similar stereotypes bother a whole lot of women whom
  they don't encompass, and do denigrate.
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