Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


\DER-uh-gayt\ , intransitive verb;
To deviate from what is expected.
To take away; to detract; -- usually with 'from'.
transitive verb:
To disparage or belittle; to denigrate.
If someone wants to derogate from that and make a choice, then they are free to do it.
-- Ciaran Fitzgerald, "Food champion'srecipe for success", Irish Times, November 13, 1998
Evidently, in Robbins's moral calculus, prostituting one's art in the name of the foremost mass murderer of modern times does not in the least derogate from one's idealism and courage.
-- Terry Teachout, "Cradle of Lies", Commentary Magazine, February 2000
Likewise, there has been a blatant attempt to distort the impact of Ronald Reagan's leadership during this period and to derogate or deny his accomplishments.
-- Edwin Meese, With Reagan
And if the other is other than us, then that otherness is either something we would like to have, so we choose to romanticize the other; or it is something we would like to leave behind, so we choose to derogate the other; or it is something we would like to keep available, so we choose to celebrate the other.
-- Richard A. Shweder, "Storytelling Among the Anthropologists", New York Times, September 21, 1986
Derogate comes from the past participle of Latin derogare, "to propose to repeal part of a law, to diminish," from de-, "away from" + rogare, "to ask, to ask the people about a law."
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