When you badmouth someone or talk scornfully about them (especially when they don't deserve it), that's denigration. If you practice denigration, shame on you!

It's one thing to criticize people fairly, but when it's done in an unfair or unnecessarily hateful way, it's not criticism — it's denigration. The denigration of a public political figure is bad enough, but the denigration of ordinary people because of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or body size, for example, can even be illegal. Denigration is rooted in the Latin denigrare, meaning "to blacken."

Definitions of denigration

n an abusive attack on a person's character or good name

aspersion, calumny, defamation, slander
Type of:
strong criticism

n a belittling comment

Type of:
depreciation, derogation, disparagement
a communication that belittles somebody or something

n the act of expressing disapproval (especially of yourself)

Type of:
disparagement, dispraise
the act of speaking contemptuously of

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