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[dep-ri-keyt] /ˈdɛp rɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), deprecated, deprecating.
to express earnest disapproval of.
to urge reasons against; protest against (a scheme, purpose, etc.).
to depreciate; belittle.
Archaic. to pray for deliverance from.
Origin of deprecate
1615-25; < Latin dēprecātus prayed against, warded off (past participle of dēprecārī), equivalent to dē- de- + prec(ārī) to pray + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
deprecatingly, adverb
deprecation, noun
deprecator, noun
half-deprecating, adjective
half-deprecatingly, adverb
nondeprecating, adjective
nondeprecatingly, adverb
undeprecated, adjective
undeprecating, adjective
undeprecatingly, adverb
Can be confused
deprecate, depreciate (see usage note at the current entry)
1. condemn, denounce, disparage. See decry.
Usage note
An early and still the most current sense of deprecate is “to express disapproval of.” In a sense development still occasionally criticized by a few, deprecate has come to be synonymous with the similar but etymologically unrelated word depreciate in the sense “belittle”: The author modestly deprecated the importance of his work. In compounds with self-, deprecate has almost totally replaced depreciate in modern usage: Her self-deprecating account of her career both amused and charmed the audience. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deprecate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Australian is apt to deprecate the socialism of the European p. 14or the American.

  • Daniel kneeled upon his knees to deprecate the captivity of his people.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
  • As a legal man, I must deprecate all confidences, otherwise than strictly in the way of business.

  • They recognise the secret and insidious influences of the Jesuit, and deprecate it.

    Mysticism and its Results John Delafield
  • I deprecate the vice of excessive novel-reading in young persons.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • She smiled timidly, as though to deprecate her sister's vengeance.

    Paul Patoff F. Marion Crawford
  • Mascarin raised his hand, as though to deprecate immediate criticism, and to ask for further patience on the part of his audience.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • Not that we deprecate the indulgence of such romantic feelings.

    Fern Vale (Volume 1) Colin Munro
  • I am fond of pussy, but I deprecate her taste for game, as I do that of some other hunters, wiser if not better than she.

    A Bird-Lover in the West Olive Thorne Miller
British Dictionary definitions for deprecate


verb (transitive)
to express disapproval of; protest against
to depreciate (a person, someone's character, etc); belittle
(archaic) to try to ward off by prayer
Derived Forms
deprecating, adjective
deprecatingly, adverb
deprecation, noun
deprecative, adjective
deprecatively, adverb
deprecator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēprecārī to avert, ward off by entreaty, from de- + precārī to pray
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 deprecate

1620s, "to pray against or for deliverance from," from Latin deprecatus, past participle of deprecari "to pray (something) away" (see deprecation). Meaning "to express disapproval" is from 1640s. Related: Deprecated, deprecating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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