Word of the Day

Thursday, March 27, 2003

deprecate

\DEP-rih-kayt\ , transitive verb;
1.
[Archaic] To pray against, as an evil; to seek to avert by prayer.
2.
To disapprove of strongly.
3.
To belittle; to depreciate.
Quotes:
Although Stalin at times deprecated his cult, he also tolerated and perhaps covertly encouraged it.
-- Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism
Copland humorously deprecated his looks, finding in his gaunt physique, narrow face, prominent nose, and buckteeth a comic resemblance to a giraffe.
-- Howard Pollack, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man
We experience such augmentations as pleasure, which may be why aesthetic values have always been deprecated by social moralists, from Plato through our current campus Puritans.
-- Harold Bloom, How to Read and Why
Origin:
Deprecate comes from the past participle of Latin deprecari, "to avert by prayer, to deprecate," from de-, "from" + precari, "to pray."
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