Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 28, 2020 is:
derogate • DAIR-uh-gayt • verb
1 : to cause to seem inferior : disparage
2 : to take away a part so as to impair : detract
3 : to act beneath one’s position or character
“While one could argue that the phrase [‘OK Boomer‘] in itself derogates the very term used to describe an older age bracket of generational Baby Boomers (those born between the 1940s and 1960s), it would be more useful to examine how and when people use such a new phrase.” — Kameryn Griesser, The Battalion (Texas A & M University), 19 Nov. 2019
“All jobs require us at some point to deliver bad news—whether it be a minor revelation such as a recruiter telling a prospective employee that there’s no wiggle-room in salary, or something major, like when a manager must fire an employee.… Our research shows that people are prone to derogating those who tell them things they don’t want to hear—we shoot the messenger.” — Leslie K. John et al., The Harvard Business Review, 16 Apr. 2019
Did you know?
Most of us encounter derogatory, the adjective meaning “expressing a low opinion,” more frequently than we do derogate, its less common verb relation, but the verb is older; it first appeared in English in the 15th century, while derogatory wasn’t adopted until the early 16th. Both words can be traced back to the Late Latin word derogatus, which is the past participle of the verb derogare, meaning “to detract” or “to annul (a law).” Derogare, in turn, derives from the Latin word for “ask,” rogāre. Other derogate relatives include derogative, derogation, and derogatorily.