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From Latin dēprecātus, past participle of dēprecārī (to pray against (a present or impending evil), pray for, intercede for (that which is in danger), rarely imprecate), from dē- (off) +‎ precārī (to pray).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdɛpɹɪkeɪt/, /ˈdɛpɹəkeɪt/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: dep‧re‧cate


deprecate (third-person singular simple present deprecates, present participle deprecating, simple past and past participle deprecated)

  1. (transitive) To express disapproval of, protest or plead against.
    They deprecated the attempt to deny aid to homeless people.
    She deprecated any action which might disturb the peace.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Return to Courtenaye Hall”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 150:
      He spoke of Ethel continually; entreated her to forgive him; deprecated her coldness; and implored her to retract her refusal.
  2. (transitive) To belittle, depreciate
    He deprecates any praise of his own merits.
    • 2012, James Lambert, “Beyond Hobson-Jobson: A new lexicography for Indian English”, in World Englishes[1], page 295:
      Prior to the 1980s, Australian English had been widely deprecated by Australians themselves, principally as a result of a sense of inferiority known as "cultural cringe".
  3. (transitive, chiefly computing) To declare something obsolescent; to recommend against a function, technique, command, etc. that still works but has been replaced.
    The 'bold' tag has been deprecated in favour of the 'strong' tag.
    It is still supported but strongly deprecated.
    • 2003, Dave Evans et al., Perl, CGI, and JavaScript Complete, Sybex, →ISBN:
      A deprecated function works in the currently released version of Perl 5 but may not be supported in future releases of Perl 5.
  4. (archaic, transitive) To pray against.
    • 1701, Nehemiah Grew, Cosmologia Sacra, London: W. Rogers, S. Smith, and B. Walford, page 126:
      And in deprecating of Evil, we make an humble Acknowledgement of Guilt; and of God’s Juſtice in chaſtizing, as well as Clemency, in ſparing the Guilty.
    • 1712, George Smalridge, A Sermon, Preach’d at the Royal Chapel at St. James’s on Wedneſday, January the 16th, 1711/12, London: Jonah Bowyer, page 18:
      [] , though the Temporal Judgments which We Deprecate, are not remov’d.
  5. (archaic, transitive) To regret deeply.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Do not confuse with depreciate (decline in value / disparage), despite the fact that AHD4 states that deprecate has almost completely supplanted depreciate, which is sometimes condemned as a confusion of two different words.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present and imperative of deprecare




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēprecō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of deprecar combined with te