English Dictionary

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Definitions of demeaning

demeaning (dɪˈmiːnɪŋ) 



  1. intended to lower a person's dignity, status, or character   ⇒  ■ demeaning sexist comments,   ⇒  ■ the demeaning treatment of prisoners,   ⇒  ■ Aid, however it is obtained, is demeaning to the recipients.


View thesaurus entry
= humiliating, degrading, disgraceful, shameful, unworthy, debasing, undignified, contemptible, cheapening, dishonourable, infra dig (informal)

demean1 (dɪˈmiːn



  1. (transitive) to lower (oneself) in dignity, status, or character; humble; debase

Word Origin

C17: see de-, mean2; on the model of debase

demean2 (dɪˈmiːn



  1. (transitive) (rare) to behave or conduct (oneself) in a specified way

Word Origin

C13: from Old French demener, from de- + mener to lead, drive, from Latin mināre to drive (animals), from minārī to use threats

Translations for 'demeaning'

  • British English: demeaning Something that is demeaning makes people have less respect for the person who is treated in that way, or who does that thing. ADJECTIVE...making demeaning comments.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: degradante
  • Chinese: 降低身份的
  • European Spanish: degradante
  • French: dégradant dégradante
  • German: erniedrigend
  • Italian: degradante
  • Japanese: 屈辱的な
  • Korean: 비하하는
  • Portuguese: degradante
  • Spanish: degradante

Example Sentences Including 'demeaning'

And now, when I think about him, I just think demeaning thoughts, like about his knob.
Richard Francis PROSPECT HILL (2003)
"I was about to toss the fifty down to him when it dawned on me how demeaning a gesture that would be.
Pritchard, John Night Sisters
I agree that promiscuity can only be ultimately demeaning , particularly for women," said Loretta.
Howatch, Susan Absolute Truths


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