• (British) IPA: /ˈdɛɹəɡeɪt/

derogate (derogates, present participle derogating; past and past participle derogated)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To partially repeal (a law etc.). [16th-17th c.]
    • By several contrary customs, […] many of the civil and canon laws are controlled and derogated.
  2. (transitive) To detract from (something); to disparage, belittle. [from 16th c.]
    • 1642, John Milton, An Apology for Smectymnuus:
      I never thought the human frailty of erring in cases of religion, infamy to a state, no more than to a council: it had therefore been neither civil nor christianly, to derogate the honour of the state for that cause [...].
    • 1999, Ziva Kunda, Social Cognition, p. 222:
      When the need for self-affirmation is satisfied through other means, one is less compelled to derogate members of negatively stereotyped groups.
    • 2001, Russell Cropanzano, Justice in the Workplace, vol. II, p. 104:
      Bandura (1990) gave a related example of gas chamber operators in Nazi prison camps, who found it necessary to derogate and dehumanize their victims rather than become overwhelmed by distress.
  3. (ambitransitive) To take away (something from something else) in a way which leaves it lessened. [from 16th c.]
    • Anything […] that should derogate, minish, or hurt his glory and his name.
    • It derogates little from his fortitude, while it adds infinitely to the honor of his humanity.
  4. (intransitive) To remove a part, to detract from (a quality of excellence, authority etc.). [from 16th c.]
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Volume the Second, page 147 ISBN 1857150570
      In doing so she had derogated from her dignity and committed herself.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.19:
      God does not have the attributes of a Christian Providence, for it would derogate from His perfection to think about anything except what is perfect, i.e. Himself.
    • 1967, "The undoing of Dodd", Time, 5 Dec 1967:
      The six-member Committee on Standards and Conduct unanimously recommended that the Senate censure the Connecticut Democrat for behavior that is "contrary to good morals, derogates from the public trust expected of a Senator, and tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
  5. (intransitive) To act in a manner below oneself; to debase oneself. [from 17th c.]
    • c. 1611, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, II.1:
      CLOTEN. Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no derogation in't?
      SECOND LORD. You cannot derogate, my lord.
  • decry
  • (to disparage, belittle) vilify
  • (to detract from (a quality of excellence, authority etc.)) abase
  • (to disparage, belittle) praise
  • (to detract from (a quality of excellence, authority etc.)) exalt
Related terms Translations
  • Russian: принижать
Translations Adjective


  1. (archaic) debased
    • 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear I.iv
      Dry up in her the organs of increase, / And from her derogate body never spring / A babe to honour her.
Related terms

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