If something has a negative association attached to it, call this a stigma. Bed-wetting can lead to a social stigma for a six year old, while chewing tobacco might have the same effect for a sixty year old.

Stigma, from the Greek word of the same spelling meaning "mark, puncture," came into English through Latin to mean a mark burned into the skin to signify disgrace. It did not take long for stigma to be used figuratively, as it is commonly used today, for the negative stereotype or reputation attached to something such as "the stigma of divorce."

Definitions of stigma

n a symbol of disgrace or infamy

brand, mark, stain
a mark against a person for misconduct or failure; usually given in school or armed forces
bar sinister, bend sinister
a mark of bastardy; lines from top right to bottom left
cloven foot, cloven hoof
the mark of Satan
Type of:
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

n a skin lesion that is a diagnostic sign of some disease

Type of:
blemish, defect, mar
a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)

n the apical end of the style where deposited pollen enters the pistil

Type of:
reproductive structure
the parts of a plant involved in its reproduction

n an external tracheal aperture in a terrestrial arthropod

Type of:
a breathing orifice

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