Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To take away; detract: an error that will derogate from your reputation.
  • intransitive v. To deviate from a standard or expectation; go astray.
  • transitive v. To disparage; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. debased

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To annul in part; to repeal partly; to restrict; to limit the action of; -- said of a law.
  • transitive v. To lessen; to detract from; to disparage; to depreciate; -- said of a person or thing.
  • intransitive v. To take away; to detract; to withdraw; -- usually with from.
  • intransitive v. To act beneath one-s rank, place, birth, or character; to degenerate.
  • n. Diminished in value; dishonored; degraded.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To destroy or impair the force and effect of; lessen the extent, authority, etc., of.
  • To detract from; abate; disparage.
  • To take away; retrench; remove (from).
  • To take away a part; detract; make an improper or injurious abatement: with from.
  • To fall away in character or conduct; degenerate.
  • Synonyms Depreciate, Derogate from, etc. See decry.
  • Lessened in extent, estimation, character, etc.; invalidated; degenerate; degraded; damaged.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause to seem less serious; play down

Etymologies

Middle English derogaten, from Latin dērogāre, dērogāt- : dē-, de- + rogāre, to ask; see reg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From (the participle stem of) Latin dērogāre ("to annul, repeal part of a law, take away, detract from"), from de- ("from") + rogāre ("to propose a law, ask"). Compare abrogate, interrogate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Learned Hand won that battle in the common law, which meant we have to go to the legislature to derogate from the principle of free copying.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • Nothing in this order shall be construed to derogate from the authority of the Secretary of the Army under the said Executive Order No. 10155.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10303

  • Nothing in this order shall be construed to derogate from the authority of the Secretary of the Army under the said Executive Order No. 9957.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 9971

  • There is no doubt that with every noble art, the greater the honours that are bestowed upon it, the greater the responsibilities which it assumes; and now that the stage has been endorsed-using the term in its widest sense-as a necessary and useful branch of public service, it certainly behooves the stage, and it behooves the public to see that it shall not derogate from the eminence on which it has been placed.

    The Drama as a Factor in Social Progress

  • His great compeer, Henry the Seventh, did not hasten to adopt the same project submitted to him by Bartholomew Columbus, sent into England [8] for that purpose by his brother Christopher; and it has not been thought to derogate from the English king's sagacity.

    The Life of Columbus

  • They did all they could to derogate from the authority of the scriptures and to lessen the value of them; they designed to draw people after other gods to serve them, to consult them as their oracles and make court to them as their benefactors.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • Those who set him on a level with the other sons of men, whose father and mother we know, no wonder if they derogate from the honour of his satisfaction and the mysteries of his undertaking, and, like the Jews here, murmur at his promise to raise us up at the last day.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • He does not retort upon them as he might ( "You profess yourselves to be devout and good men, but your witness is not true"), but plainly vindicates himself; and, though he had waived his own testimony (ch.v. 31), yet here he abides by it, that it did not derogate from the credibility of his other proofs, but was necessary to show the force of them.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • Abraham, and representing that as the rule of our justification, and not the law, lest they should think he did too much derogate from the law, and render it altogether useless, he thence takes occasion to discourse of the design and tendency of it, and to acquaint us for what purposes it was given.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

  • It does not at all derogate from the credibility of

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

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