From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Late Latin dērogātōrius, from Latin dērogāre; corresponding to derogate +‎ -ory.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈɹɒɡətɹi/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /dɪˈɹɑɡətɔɹi/


derogatory (comparative more derogatory, superlative most derogatory)

  1. Disparaging.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], chapter XL, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 218:
      It was perfectly plain, that fast and far as scandal flies, Lady Anne's words, when derogatory to the Count, and that beloved wife, for whose sake they would have been most resented, had never reached their retreat in Devonshire, much less followed them to distant Italy.
  2. (usually with to) Tending to derogate:
    Synonym: injurious
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter X, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume II, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC, page 626:
      The Tories [] knew that [] the House which should be the first to come to a resolution would have a great advantage over the other. [] The Commons had determined that, on Monday the twenty-eighth of January, they would take into consideration the state of the nation. The Tory Lords therefore proposed, on Friday the twenty-fifth, to enter instantly on the great business  []. But [] Devonshire moved that Tuesday the twenty-ninth should be the day. “By that time,” he said with more truth than discretion, “we may have some lights from below which may be useful for our guidance.” His motion was carried; but his language was severely censured by some of his brother peers as derogatory to their order.
    1. Reducing the power or value of (a governmental body, etc); detracting from.
      • 1768, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England:
        Acts of Parliament derogatory from the power of subsequent Parliaments bind not.
    2. Lessening the worth of (a person, etc); expressing derogation; insulting.
      • 2018, Ben Rothenberg, The New York Times:
        Billie Jean King said Friday that the Australian Open’s Margaret Court Arena should have its name changed because of Court’s derogatory comments about gay and transgender people.
  3. (law, of a clause in a testament) Being or pertaining to a derogatory clause.

Usage notes[edit]

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



Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


derogatory (plural derogatories)

  1. (business, finance) A tradeline on a credit report that indicates negative credit history.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]