transitive verb (-littled; belittling) Date: 1797 1. to speak slightingly of ; disparage <
belittles her efforts
2. to cause (a person or thing) to seem little or less Synonyms: see decrybelittlement nounbelittler noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • belittle — (v.) 1781, to make small, from BE (Cf. be ) + LITTLE (Cf. little) (v.); first recorded in writings of Thomas Jefferson (and probably coined by him), who was roundly execrated for it in England: Belittle! What an expression! It may be an elegant… …   Etymology dictionary

  • belittle — is, to the surprise of many, an Americanism, disapproved of by Fowler (1926) as an ‘undesirable alien’, at least in its meaning ‘decry, depreciate’. • (Never belittle anything that your patients earnestly believe Oxford Companion to US History,… …   Modern English usage

  • Belittle — Be*lit tle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Belittled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Belittling}.] To make little or less in a moral sense; to speak of in a depreciatory or contemptuous way. T. Jefferson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • belittle — index cavil, condescend (patronize), contemn, decry, defame, demean (make lower), demote, denigrate …   Law dictionary

  • belittle — depreciate, disparage, derogate, detract, minimize, *decry Analogous words: underestimate, undervalue, underrate (see base words at ESTIMATE): diminish, reduce, lessen, *decrease Antonyms: aggrandize, magnify Contrasted words: *exalt: heighten,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • belittle — [v] detract bad mouth, blister, criticize, cut down to size*, cut to the quick*, decry, deprecate, depreciate, deride, derogate, diminish, discount, discredit, disparage, dispraise, downgrade, downplay, dump on*, knock*, lower, minimize, pan,… …   New thesaurus

  • belittle — ► VERB ▪ dismiss as unimportant …   English terms dictionary

  • belittle — ☆ belittle [bē lit′ l, bilit′ l ] vt. belittled, belittling [coined ( c. 1780) by JEFFERSON Thomas] to make seem little, less important, etc.; speak slightingly of; depreciate SYN. DISPARAGE belittlement n. belittler n …   English World dictionary

  • belittle — [[t]bɪlɪ̱t(ə)l[/t]] belittles, belittling, belittled VERB If you belittle someone or something, you say or imply that they are unimportant or not very good. [V n] We mustn t belittle her outstanding achievement... [V n] It makes no sense to… …   English dictionary

  • belittle — UK [bɪˈlɪt(ə)l] / US verb [transitive] Word forms belittle : present tense I/you/we/they belittle he/she/it belittles present participle belittling past tense belittled past participle belittled to say or think that someone or something is… …   English dictionary

  • belittle — See belittle, disparage …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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