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Borrowed from Late Latin dērogātōrius, from Latin dērogāre; corresponding to derogate +‎ -ory.



derogatory (comparative more derogatory, superlative most derogatory)

  1. (usually with to) Tending to derogate, or lessen in value of someone; expressing derogation; detracting
    Synonym: injurious
    • 1768, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
      Acts of Parliament derogatory from the power of subsequent Parliaments bind not.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II
      [H]is language was severely censured by some of his brother peers as derogatory to their order.
    • 2018, Ben Rothenberg in The New York Times
      Billie Jean King said Friday that the Australian Open's Margaret Court Arena should have its name changed because of Court's derogatory comments about gay and transgender people.
  2. (law, of a clause in a testament) Being or pertaining to a derogatory clause.

Usage notesEdit

In common language, particularly used in the phrase “derogatory term”, where it is equivalent to less common pejorative, and in “derogatory statements”, equivalent to more casual offensive.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


derogatory (plural derogatories)

  1. A trade-line on a credit report that includes negative credit history.


Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit