pej·o·ra·tion (pĕj′ə-rāshən, pē′jə-)
1. The process or condition of worsening or degenerating.
2. Linguistics The process by which the meaning of a word becomes negative or disparaging over a period of time, as silly, from Middle English seely, "blessed, innocent," has come to mean "showing a lack of good sense, frivolous."
[Medieval Latin pēiōrātiō, pēiōrātiōn-, from Late Latin pēiōrātus, past participle of pēiōrāre, to make worse, from Latin pēior, worse; see ped- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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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.