pejorative • \pih-JOR-uh-tiv\ • adjective
: having negative connotations; especially : tending to disparage or belittle : depreciatory
The team’s star player has come under fire for making pejorative remarks about women during a magazine interview.
Did you know?
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Moms have given that good advice for years, but unfortunately many people haven’t heeded it. The word “pejorative” makes it clear that both English and Latin speakers have long known that disparaging words can make a bad situation worse. “Pejorative” derives from the Late Latin adjective “pejoratus,” which in turn comes from the Latin verb “pejorare,” meaning “to make or become worse.” Although pejorative words have probably always been part of English, the adjective “pejorative” has only been found in English texts since the late 1880s. Before then, English speakers could rely on older synonyms of “pejorative” such as “derogatory” and “uncomplimentary” to describe disparaging words.