AskDefine | Define belittle

Dictionary Definition



1 belittle; "Don't belittle his influence" [syn: minimize, denigrate, derogate]
2 express a negative opinion of; "She disparaged her student's efforts" [syn: disparage, pick at] [ant: flatter]
3 lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of; "don't belittle your colleagues" [syn: diminish]

User Contributed Dictionary



Coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 in "Notes on the State of Virginia": "So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic."



  1. to knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is
    My older brother used to belittle anything I did.


to knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bedwarf, bring down, bring into discredit, bring low, criticize, cry down, de-emphasize, debase, decry, degrade, denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, derogate, derogate from, detract from, diminish, disapprove of, discount, discredit, disgrace, disparage, dispraise, downgrade, downplay, dwarf, hold in contempt, knock, lessen, make light of, make little of, make nothing of, minify, minimize, misestimate, misprize, mitigate, play down, pooh-pooh, put down, reduce, reflect discredit upon, run down, sell short, set at naught, set little by, shrug off, slight, speak ill of, submit to indignity, think little of, think nothing of, trivialize, underestimate, underplay, underprize, underrate, underreckon, undervalue, write off
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