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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; injurious.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Blackstone.
      Acts of Parliament derogatory from the power of subsequent Parliaments bind not.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Macaulay.
      His language was severely censured by some of his brother peers as derogatory to their other.
  2. (law) When referring to a clause in a testament: a sentence of secret character inserted by the testator alone, of which he reserves the knowledge to himself, with a condition that no will he may make thereafter shall be valid, unless this clause is inserted word for word; – a precaution to guard against later wills extorted by violence, or obtained by suggestion.

Usage notes[edit]

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


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derogatory (plural derogatories)

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


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