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From be- +‎ little. Coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 in "Notes on the State of Virginia": "So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic."



belittle (third-person singular simple present belittles, present participle belittling, simple past and past participle belittled)

  1. To knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is.
    • 2006, Mark Steyn, chapter 9, in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, ISBN 0895260786, page 201:
      Under the rules as understood by the New York Times, the West is free to mock and belittle its Judeo-Christian inheritance, and, likewise, the Muslim world is free to mock and belittle the West's Judeo-Christian inheritance.

Usage notes[edit]

Often has a derogatory social connotation. Such as: to treat as worthless, to denigrate, to degrade, to deprecate, or to disparage



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