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[den-i-greyt] /ˈdɛn ɪˌgreɪt/
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.
Origin of denigrate
1520-30; < Latin dēnigrātus (past participle of dēnigrāre to blacken), equivalent to dē- de- + nigr(āre) to make black + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
denigration, noun
denigrative, adjective
denigrator, noun
[den-i-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈdɛn ɪ grəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for denigrating
  • Nobody's advocating denigrating students or beating them with sticks.
  • The comment section contained a number of comments denigrating those who choose or advocate home birth.
  • denigrating the self promotion of others as a way of promoting yourself is ugly and sleazy.
  • Doctors sometimes make matters worse by denigrating rural patients, discouraging them from seeking medical help.
  • Please focus on the ideas being presented, not denigrating the character of the debater.
  • Let's look at diet first before denigrating the body performance of previous generations.
  • Promoting science will not be accomplished by reaching out to the anti-science community while denigrating scientists.
  • Strong denigrating language to equal the language that is heaped on anyone that does not believe the world is coming to an end.
  • Already there are blogs, websites and fund-raising campaigns dedicated to denigrating her.
  • The humor was relentlessly denigrating, and largely unfair.
British Dictionary definitions for denigrating


(transitive) to belittle or disparage the character of; defame
a rare word for blacken
Derived Forms
denigration, noun
denigrator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēnigrāre to make very black, defame, from nigrāre to blacken, from niger black
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
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Word Origin and History for denigrating



1520s, from Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare "to blacken, defame," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nigr-, stem of niger "black" (see Negro). of unknown origin. "Apparently disused in 18th c. and revived in 19th c." [OED]. Related: Denigrated; denigrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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