Word of the Day

Monday, September 11, 2006

pejorative

\pih-JOR-uh-tiv\ , adjective;
1.
Tending to make or become worse.
2.
Tending to disparage or belittle.
noun:
1.
A belittling or disparaging word or expression.
Quotes:
Citing the construction industry, car dealers, and politicians as the purveyors of "sprawl" (a pejorative term that does not even allow for the possibility of benefits associated with low-density development), Kunstler fails to consider the role of market forces.
-- Julia Hansen, "letter to the editor", The Atlantic, December 1996
While he said that he is not a "fanboy," mildly pejorative slang for an aggressively obsessive "Star Wars" fan, he did mention that the John Williams "Star Wars" theme was played at his wedding reception two years ago.
-- Michel Marriott, "On a Galaxy of Sites, 'Star Wars' Fever Rises", New York Times, May 6, 1999
Welfare state is now, even for the Labour party whose grand historic achievement it was, obscurely shameful. A pejorative for our times.
-- John Sutherland, "How the potent language of civic life was undermined", The Guardian, March 20, 2001
Origin:
Pejorative is derived from the past participle of Late Latin pejorare, "to make worse, to become worse," from Latin pejor, "worse."
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