A Word A Day : Denigrate

Thursday, 24th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb )

Pronunciation : dénni-gràyt

Past and past participle : denigrated
Present participle : denigrating
3rd person present singular : denigrates


1. to attack somebody's character or reputation

2. to disparage or criticize somebody or something, or make something seem unimportant

3. to think, represent or speak of as small or unimportant

Word Usage:

In its best-established sense denigrate means attack a reputation. However, it is now often found in sentences like I don't mean to denigrate the problem, where its meaning has become closer to disparage or belittle somebody or something. In this, it is following in the footsteps of deprecate, whose traditional meaning is express condemnation of somebody or something, but which in self-deprecating has taken on the additional sense of belittle.


Wikipedia: Denigrate:

Denigrate is a heavy metal band from Tuusula, Finland, formed in 1996.

The band was in a movie project Menolippu Mombasaan in 2002, under the name No Future Today. This way they came somewhat famous in Finland, but the band members weren't too happy about it the way.

Warner Music soon published their debut album, Dismal Euphoria, along with the singles, but after that, the record deal was cancelled and the band is now looking for a better deal with some metal-label.


Latin dēnigrāre, dēnigrāt-, to blacken, defame : dē-, de- + niger, nigr-, black.


befoul, besmear, besmirch, bespatter, blacken, cloud, dirty, smear, smudge, smut, soil, spatter, stain, sully, taint, tarnish, belittle, decry, deprecate, depreciate, derogate, detract, discount, disparage, downgrade, minimize


boost, cherish, compliment, praise

Contextual Examples:

• If you denigrate a girl in this campus, it will be treated as a cognizant offence.

• The critics have denigrated our efforts.

• I have noticed throughout several years that The Washington Post loses no opportunity to denigrate the Catholic church.

• Abusing a small country of eleven million people because of the threat of a good example belittles America and allowing Jesse Helms to determine our foreign policy denigrates the USA worldwide.

• I couldn't ask for anything better than for America's entertainers to bash their president, denigrate him, make him seem like an idiot and a self-serving fool.

Related Words:

denigration : Noun

denigrative : Adjective

denigratory : Adjective

denigrator : Noun

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