Skip to main content
Select Source:

PEJORATIVE

PEJORATIVE [Stress: ‘pe-JAW-ra-tiv’].
1. A term in PHILOLOGY and SEMANTICS that refers to a complex word whose meaning is ‘lower’ than that of its base: princeling, a minor or very young prince.

2. A term in LINGUISTICS and lexicography that refers to an expression, tone, or style that serves to devalue, disparage, or dismiss the subject being talked or written about: illiterate is pejorative when used to describe people who can read and write, but not to a level acceptable to the speaker (What an illiterate scrawl!); Dago, a pejorative nickname that distances and devalues people from or in Iberia and Latin America. Compare DEROGATORY.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"PEJORATIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"PEJORATIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pejorative

"PEJORATIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pejorative

pejorative

pe·jo·ra·tive / pəˈjôrətiv; ˈpejəˌrātiv/ • adj. expressing contempt or disapproval: permissiveness is used almost universally as a pejorative term. • n. a word expressing contempt or disapproval. DERIVATIVES: pe·jo·ra·tive·ly adv. ORIGIN: late 19th cent.: from French péjoratif, -ive, from late Latin pejorare ‘make worse,’ from Latin pejor ‘worse.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pejorative." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pejorative." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pejorative

"pejorative." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pejorative

pejorative

pejorative depreciatory in meaning. XIX. — F. pējoratif, -ive, f. pp. stem of late L. pējōrāre make worse, f. pējor worse; see -ATIVE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pejorative." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pejorative." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pejorative-0

"pejorative." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pejorative-0