tr.v. den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing, den·i·grates
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame: "Speakers before the United States Chamber of Commerce rarely denigrate the businessman as an economic force" (John Kenneth Galbraith).
2. To disparage; belittle: The movie critics denigrated the director's latest film. See Synonyms at disparage.
[Latin dēnigrāre, dēnigrāt-, to blacken, defame : dē-, de- + niger, nigr-, black; see nekw-t- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.