Definition of DEROGATORY


Derogatory operates as an adjective, conveying disapproval, contempt, or disrespect toward someone or something through language, behavior, or attitude. It involves the use of negative or belittling terms, expressions, or actions to diminish the perceived value or dignity of a person, group, or concept.

Used as an adjective, derogatory describes language, behavior, or attitudes that express disrespect, contempt, or disparagement toward someone or something. It often involves the use of negative or belittling terms, expressions, or actions intended to undermine the dignity, worth, or credibility of a person, group, or idea.

Disrespectful Language: Derogatory language may take the form of insults, slurs, stereotypes, or offensive remarks directed at individuals or groups based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic status. Such language seeks to demean, marginalize, or dehumanize others, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and reinforcing power imbalances.

Contemptuous Attitudes: Derogatory attitudes involve a disdainful or dismissive stance toward someone or something, often based on preconceived biases, prejudices, or misconceptions. These attitudes can manifest in condescending behavior, exclusionary practices, or discriminatory actions that undermine the rights, dignity, or well-being of others.

Impact and Harm: Derogatory language and attitudes have a significant impact on individuals and communities, contributing to feelings of shame, stigma, and marginalization among those targeted. They can perpetuate systemic inequalities, fuel social divisions, and reinforce harmful power dynamics, hindering efforts to foster inclusivity, equity, and respect for diversity.

Challenging Stereotypes: Challenging derogatory language and attitudes requires promoting awareness, education, and empathy to combat stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. It involves fostering respectful communication, promoting cultural competency, and advocating for social justice to create inclusive and equitable environments where all individuals are valued and respected.

In conclusion, derogatory as an adjective encompasses language, behavior, and attitudes that express disrespect, contempt, or disdain toward someone or something. Whether manifested through disrespectful language, contemptuous attitudes, or harmful stereotypes, derogatory expressions undermine the dignity, worth, and rights of individuals and communities. Embracing respect, empathy, and inclusivity fosters environments where diversity is celebrated, prejudices are challenged, and all individuals are treated with dignity and fairness.

Examples of DEROGATORY in a sentence

  • She was offended by his derogatory remarks about her appearance.
  • Using derogatory language toward others is not acceptable behavior.
  • The comedian’s jokes were criticized for their derogatory nature toward certain groups.
  • The teacher reprimanded the student for making derogatory comments about his classmates.
  • The article contained several derogatory statements about the opposing political party.
  • The use of derogatory terms perpetuates harmful stereotypes and discrimination.
  • The company has a strict policy against making derogatory comments in the workplace.
  • His derogatory attitude toward women was evident in his disrespectful behavior.

Etymology of DEROGATORY 

The term “derogatory” is formed from the noun “derogation,” which originates from the Latin “derogatio,” derived from “derogare,” meaning “to detract” or “to take away.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Derogare (Latin): Referring to “to detract” or “to take away.”
  • Derogatio (Latin): Noun form of “derogare,” indicating the act of detracting or taking away.
  • Derogatory (Modern English): Adjective form of “derogation,” indicating something that detracts from or belittles someone or something, often conveying disrespect or disparagement.

Therefore, “derogatory” originally described an action of detracting or taking away, and it now primarily refers to remarks, comments, or behaviors that belittle or show disrespect towards someone or something.


  • Disparaging
  • Demeaning
  • Belittling
  • Insulting
  • Degrading
  • Pejorative
  • Slanderous
  • Defamatory


  • Complimentary
  • Praising
  • Respectful
  • Admiring
  • Flattering
  • Approving
  • Supportive
  • Encouraging


  • Criticizing
  • Devaluing
  • Discrediting
  • Disparagement
  • Detraction
  • Calumnious
  • Injurious
  • Offensive

🌐 🇬🇧 DEROGATORY in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024