\ \ [16] To denigrate people is literally to ‘blacken’ them. The word comes from Latin dēnigrāreblacken’, a compound verb formed from the intensive prefix - and nigerblack’.
\ \ This adjective, which is of unknown origin, also produced French noirblack’ and Italian neroblack’, and is the source (via Spanish negro) of English negro [16] and the now taboo nigger [18]. Denigrate originally meant ‘physically turn something black’ as well as the metaphorical ‘defame, belittle’: ‘This lotion will denigrate the hairs of hoary heads’, Richard Tomlinson, Renodaeus’ Medicinal dispensatory 1657.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Denigrate — is a heavy metal band from Tuusula, Finland, formed in 1996.The band was in a movie project Menolippu Mombasaan in 2002, underthe name No Future Today. This way they came somewhat famousin Finland, but the band members weren t too happy about it… …   Wikipedia

  • Denigrate — Den i*grate, v. t. [L. denigrare; de + nigrare to blacken, niger black.] 1. To blacken thoroughly; to make very black. Boyle. [1913 Webster] 2. Fig.: To blacken or sully; to defame. [R.] [1913 Webster] To denigrate the memory of Voltaire. Morley …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • denigrate — I verb abase, accuse, asperse, attack, attaint, belittle, besmear, besmirch, bespatter, blacken, blacken one s good name, blemish, brand, call names, calumniate, cast aspersions, charge, compromise, condemn, criticize, decry, defame, degrade,… …   Law dictionary

  • denigrate — 1520s, from L. denigratus, pp. of denigrare to blacken, defame, from de completely (see DE (Cf. de )) + nigr , stem of niger black (see NEGRO (Cf. Negro)). of unknown origin. Apparently disused in 18th c. and revived in 19th c. [OED]. Related …   Etymology dictionary

  • denigrate — [v] belittle, malign asperse, bad mouth*, besmirch, blacken, blister, calumniate, decry, defame, dis*, disparage, give black eye*, impugn, knock*, libel, mudsling*, put down*, revile, rip up*, roast*, run down*, scandalize, slander, tear down*,… …   New thesaurus

  • denigrate — ► VERB ▪ criticize unfairly; disparage. DERIVATIVES denigration noun denigrator noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «blacken, make dark»: from Latin denigrare, from niger black …   English terms dictionary

  • denigrate — [den′ə grāt΄] vt. denigrated, denigrating [< L denigratus, pp. of denigrare, to blacken < de , intens. + nigrare, to blacken < niger, black: see ATE1] 1. to blacken 2. to disparage the character or reputation of; defame denigration n.… …   English World dictionary

  • denigrate — [16] To denigrate people is literally to ‘blacken’ them. The word comes from Latin dēnigrāre ‘blacken’, a compound verb formed from the intensive prefix dē and niger ‘black’. This adjective, which is of unknown origin, also produced French noir… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • denigrate — [[t]de̱nɪgreɪt[/t]] denigrates, denigrating, denigrated VERB If you denigrate someone or something, you criticize them unfairly or insult them. [V n] The amendment prohibits obscene or indecent materials which denigrate the objects or beliefs of… …   English dictionary

  • denigrate — transitive verb ( grated; grating) Etymology: Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de + nigrare to blacken, from nigr , niger black Date: 1526 1. to attack the reputation of ; defame < denigrate o …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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