belittle

To belittle means to put down, or to make another person feel as though they aren't important. Saying mean things about another person literally makes them feel "little."

To belittle someone is a cruel way of making someone else seem less important than yourself. A candidate for office might belittle his opponent by pointing out during a press conference that his fellow candidate has an inferior intellect. Belittling doesn't have to come in the form of verbal abuse. A manager who forces his administrative assistant to scrub his office floor with a toothbrush belittles her as well.

Definitions of belittle
  1. verb
    cause to seem less serious; play down
    “Don't belittle his influence”
    synonyms: denigrate, derogate, minimize
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    types:
    talk down
    belittle through talk
    type of:
    disparage, pick at
    express a negative opinion of
  2. verb
    lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of
    “don't belittle your colleagues”
    synonyms: diminish
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    type of:
    decrease, lessen, minify
    make smaller
  3. verb
    express a negative opinion of
    synonyms: disparage, pick at
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    Antonyms:
    blandish, flatter
    praise somewhat dishonestly
    types:
    show 6 types...
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    pan, tear apart, trash
    express a totally negative opinion of
    discredit, disgrace
    damage the reputation of
    deprecate, depreciate, vilipend
    belittle
    denigrate, derogate, minimize
    cause to seem less serious; play down
    deflate, puncture
    reduce or lessen the size or importance of
    talk down
    belittle through talk
    type of:
    criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
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