Pejorative is primarily an adjective in the English language, used to describe language, expressions, or attitudes that convey contempt, disapproval, or criticism towards someone or something. It implies a derogatory or negative connotation, often intending to belittle, demean, or insult.

Negative Connotation: As an adjective, pejorative characterizes words, phrases, or expressions that carry a disparaging or derogatory meaning. It signifies language used to diminish the worth, status, or reputation of individuals, groups, ideas, or objects, fostering prejudice, discrimination, or marginalization.

Contextual Usage: Pejorative language can manifest in various contexts, including social interactions, media representations, political discourse, and academic discussions. It may target particular demographics, identities, behaviors, beliefs, or characteristics, reinforcing stereotypes, biases, or power imbalances.

Impact and Perception: The use of pejorative language can have significant psychological, social, and emotional effects on individuals and communities, contributing to feelings of stigmatization, alienation, or inferiority. It can also shape perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, influencing interpersonal dynamics, social norms, and cultural practices.

Pejorative, as an adjective, denotes language, expressions, or attitudes with a derogatory or contemptuous tone. It reflects the power dynamics, biases, and social constructs embedded within language and communication. Awareness of pejorative language and its impact is crucial for fostering inclusive, respectful, and empathetic interactions in diverse settings.

PEJORATIVE in a sentence

  • “The article that I have just read is rather pejorative towards the Prime Minister and his Government”
  • “I appreciate your time in describing the situation but you don’t need to be pejorative, try to be a little bit more polite next time”
  • “He denoted anger after hearing his pejorative description”
  • The term “snowflake” is often used in a pejorative manner to dismiss individuals perceived as overly sensitive or easily offended.
  • Employing pejorative language can perpetuate stereotypes and contribute to discrimination against marginalized groups.
  • It’s important to avoid using pejorative terms that demean or belittle others based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Some people may unknowingly use pejorative language without understanding its harmful impact on others.
  • The use of pejorative language in public discourse can hinder constructive dialogue and exacerbate social divisions.


The term pejorative has its etymological roots in Latin and English, providing insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Semantic Context: “Pejorative” describes words, phrases, or expressions that convey contempt, disapproval, or negativity towards someone or something. It implies a derogatory or belittling connotation.
  • Latin Influence: The term “pejorative” originates from the Latin word “pejorare,” meaning “to make worse” or “to deteriorate.” In Latin, it denoted the action of downgrading or depreciating.
  • Origins in English: “Pejorative” entered the English language in the early 20th century, borrowing from Latin roots to describe words or expressions that diminish or belittle their referents.
  • Cultural Connotations: “Pejorative” carries cultural connotations of criticism, disdain, or disrespect, suggesting a negative evaluation or judgment towards someone or something.
  • Usage in Context: “Pejorative” is commonly used in linguistics, communication, and social discourse to identify and analyze language that has a derogatory or insulting effect, often with the intent to marginalize or degrade individuals or groups.

The term pejorative reflects its origins in Latin and its adoption into English, highlighting its usage to describe words or expressions that convey contempt, disapproval, or negativity towards someone or something, often with the effect of belittling or demeaning.


  • Derogatory
  • Scornful
  • Degrading
  • Slanderous
  • Demeaning
  • Insulting
  • Offensive
  • Abusive
  • Contemptuous
  • Scurrilous


  • Complimentary
  • Laudative
  • Appreciative
  • Courteous
  • Pleasing
  • Laudatory
  • Respectful
  • Affirmative
  • Positive
  • Praiseful


  • Vituperative
  • Detracting
  • Judgemental
  • Defamatory
  • Accuser
  • Stigma
  • Stereotype
  • Discrimination
  • Prejudice
  • Bigotry

🌐 🇬🇧 PEJORATIVE in other languages

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