Top 38 Slang For Degrade – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to expressing feelings of belittlement or disrespect, sometimes words can pack a powerful punch. In this list, we’ve gathered some of the most impactful slang terms for degrade that are currently circulating. Let’s dive in and explore how language can shape our interactions and perceptions in today’s ever-evolving social landscape.

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1. Diss

To insult or criticize someone in a clever or cutting way. “Diss” is short for “disrespect.”

  • For example, “He dissed her outfit by saying it looked like a clown costume.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might diss another by mocking their skills or personal life.
  • A group of friends might playfully diss each other for fun.

2. Trash

To denigrate or belittle someone or something. “Trash” is often used to express strong disapproval or disdain.

  • For instance, “She trashed his ideas during the meeting.”
  • A movie critic might say, “The film was complete trash, with terrible acting and a nonsensical plot.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might yell, “You’re just trash! You’ll never amount to anything!”

3. Roast

To mock or make fun of someone in a playful or humorous way. A “roast” is usually a public event where friends or colleagues take turns poking fun at the guest of honor.

  • For example, “They roasted him at his retirement party by teasing him about his love for golf.”
  • A group of friends might gather to roast each other with jokes and playful insults.
  • A comedian might roast a fellow celebrity during a televised event, delivering witty and biting remarks.

4. Tear down

To criticize or discredit someone or something, often with the intention of completely destroying their reputation or credibility.

  • For instance, “The journalist’s article tore down the politician’s image as a trustworthy leader.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might try to tear down the other’s arguments and perspectives.
  • A competitor might attempt to tear down a rival’s business by spreading negative rumors and reviews.

5. Put down

To belittle or diminish someone’s worth or abilities. “Put down” can also refer to insulting or disparaging remarks.

  • For example, “She constantly puts down her coworkers by criticizing their work.”
  • A parent might unintentionally put down their child by constantly comparing them to their siblings.
  • In a social setting, someone might put down another person’s taste in music or fashion.

6. Drag

To drag someone means to publicly criticize or humiliate them, often in a harsh or demeaning manner.

  • For example, “She really dragged him on social media for his insensitive comments.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might say, “Don’t make me drag you in front of everyone.”
  • A celebrity might be dragged by the media for a controversial statement or action.

7. Knock

To knock someone means to criticize or speak negatively about them or something they have done.

  • For instance, “He always knocks my ideas without offering any constructive feedback.”
  • In a review of a movie, a critic might write, “The film was widely knocked for its poor pacing and weak plot.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t understand why people knock her singing ability. I think she’s talented.”

8. Belittle

To belittle someone means to make them feel small or unimportant, often through condescending or dismissive language or behavior.

  • For example, “She constantly belittles her coworkers, making them feel inadequate.”
  • In a group discussion, someone might say, “Let’s not belittle each other’s opinions. We should respect different viewpoints.”
  • A parent might unintentionally belittle their child by saying, “You’re too young to understand. Just let the adults talk.”

9. Slam

To slam someone means to strongly criticize or attack them, often using harsh or derogatory language.

  • For instance, “She slammed the company for its unethical business practices.”
  • In a political debate, one candidate might slam their opponent’s policies, saying, “These proposals are a disaster for our economy.”
  • A reviewer might slam a restaurant by writing, “The food was terrible and the service was abysmal.”

10. Badmouth

To badmouth someone means to speak negatively about them, often behind their back or without their knowledge.

  • For example, “She’s always badmouthing her ex-boyfriend to anyone who will listen.”
  • In a gossip session, one person might say, “I heard Sarah badmouthing you to her friends.”
  • A coworker might badmouth their colleague by saying, “I can’t stand working with him. He’s lazy and unreliable.”

11. Disparage

To speak disrespectfully or critically about someone or something. Disparaging remarks or comments are intended to belittle or degrade.

  • For example, “He always disparages his coworkers behind their backs.”
  • A person might say, “I won’t tolerate anyone disparaging my family.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might yell, “Stop disparaging me and my beliefs!”

12. Demean

To degrade or lower someone’s dignity or worth. Demeaning behavior or comments are intended to make someone feel inferior or insignificant.

  • For instance, “She constantly demeans her employees by micromanaging and criticizing their work.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t demean yourself by begging for their approval.”
  • In a discussion about workplace dynamics, someone might comment, “A toxic boss often uses demeaning language to control their subordinates.”

13. Insult

To say or do something that is disrespectful, offensive, or hurtful to someone. Insults are meant to degrade or belittle someone’s character, appearance, abilities, or intelligence.

  • For example, “He insulted her by calling her stupid.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t believe you insulted me in front of everyone.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might yell, “Stop throwing insults and have a civilized conversation!”

14. Debase

To reduce the value, quality, or dignity of someone or something. Debased actions or behaviors are intended to degrade or diminish.

  • For instance, “His dishonesty debased his reputation.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t let anyone’s negativity debase your self-worth.”
  • In a discussion about ethical standards, someone might argue, “Corruption and greed debases society as a whole.”

15. Devalue

To decrease the worth, importance, or significance of someone or something. Devaluing remarks or actions are intended to diminish or degrade.

  • For example, “Her constant criticism devalues the hard work of others.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t let anyone devalue your achievements.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might advise, “Never stay in a relationship where you feel devalued.”

16. Degrade

To degrade someone means to belittle or insult them, often to make them feel inferior or less valuable. It involves diminishing someone’s worth or dignity.

  • For example, “Stop degrading me with your hurtful comments.”
  • In a bullying situation, one might say, “They constantly degrade him by mocking his appearance.”
  • A person might feel degraded after being told, “You’re not smart enough to understand.”

17. Deprecate

To deprecate means to express disapproval or criticism towards someone or something. It often involves expressing a low opinion or negative judgment.

  • For instance, “She deprecates his fashion choices every time they go out.”
  • In a political discussion, someone might say, “I deprecate their stance on immigration.”
  • A person might deprecate a certain behavior by saying, “I don’t agree with the way they handle conflict.”

18. Dehumanize

To dehumanize someone means to treat them as if they are less than human, often by denying their basic rights, dignity, or humanity. It involves stripping away their individuality and reducing them to an object or stereotype.

  • For example, “The dictator’s regime dehumanizes its citizens through constant surveillance.”
  • In a conversation about racism, someone might say, “Racial slurs dehumanize people by reducing them to stereotypes.”
  • A person might argue, “It is important to recognize the humanity of every individual and not dehumanize them based on their differences.”

19. Discredit

To discredit someone means to cast doubt on their credibility or reputation, often by showing evidence that contradicts their claims or by spreading negative information about them.

  • For instance, “He tried to discredit her by spreading false rumors.”
  • In a political campaign, one might say, “The candidate is using smear tactics to discredit their opponent.”
  • A person might discredit a scientific study by pointing out flaws in the methodology.
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20. Depricate

To deprecate means to diminish the value or importance of someone or something. It often involves expressing disapproval or criticism, suggesting that the person or thing is not worthy of attention or consideration.

  • For example, “She constantly deprecates her own achievements, downplaying her accomplishments.”
  • In a discussion about art, someone might say, “Don’t deprecate abstract paintings just because you don’t understand them.”
  • A person might deprecate a certain style of music by saying, “I find that genre to be monotonous and uninspiring.”

21. Devaluate

To reduce the value or worth of something or someone. It can refer to a decrease in monetary value or a loss of respect or esteem.

  • For example, “The scandal devaluated the company’s stock.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t devaluate yourself by compromising your principles.”
  • In a discussion about art, someone might comment, “Mass production devaluates the value of original artwork.”

22. Deform

To alter the shape or form of something in a way that is unattractive or unnatural. It can refer to physical disfigurement or the distortion of an object.

  • For instance, “The accident deformed his face.”
  • A person might say, “The car crash deformed the vehicle beyond recognition.”
  • In a discussion about plastic surgery, someone might mention, “Overdoing cosmetic procedures can deform a person’s appearance.”

23. Deplume

To strip someone of their dignity or pride. It can refer to public embarrassment or a loss of self-respect.

  • For example, “The bully deplumed his victim in front of the entire school.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t let others deplume you with their hurtful words.”
  • In a discussion about workplace harassment, someone might mention, “Humiliating comments can deplume a person’s confidence and motivation.”

24. Deprive

To take away or withhold something from someone, often leading to a sense of loss or disadvantage. It can refer to the denial of basic needs or the removal of privileges.

  • For instance, “The dictator deprived his citizens of their freedom.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t let negative experiences deprive you of happiness.”
  • In a discussion about parenting, someone might mention, “Neglecting a child’s emotional needs can deprive them of a healthy development.”

25. Rip

To criticize or insult someone harshly and aggressively. It can refer to verbal attacks or derogatory comments.

  • For example, “The internet trolls ripped her apart for her opinion.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t let others rip you down with their hurtful words.”
  • In a discussion about cyberbullying, someone might mention, “Online harassment often involves ripping apart a person’s character or appearance.”

26. Shame

To shame someone is to publicly embarrass or humiliate them, often by exposing their faults or mistakes. It is a way of degrading someone’s reputation or self-esteem.

  • For example, “He tried to shame her by revealing her secrets to everyone.”
  • In a discussion about cyberbullying, someone might say, “Shaming someone online can have serious consequences for their mental health.”
  • A parent might warn their child, “Don’t shame others for their appearance or abilities.”

27. Disrespect

To disrespect someone is to show a lack of respect or regard for them. It is a way of degrading someone’s worth or importance.

  • For instance, “He disrespected her by speaking to her in a condescending tone.”
  • In a conversation about workplace dynamics, someone might say, “Disrespecting your coworkers can create a toxic work environment.”
  • A teacher might reprimand a student, “You need to learn to respect your classmates and their opinions.”

28. Delegitimize

To delegitimize something is to undermine or challenge its legitimacy or authority. It is a way of degrading the credibility or validity of something.

  • For example, “They tried to delegitimize his presidency by spreading false rumors.”
  • In a political debate, someone might accuse their opponent of trying to delegitimize their policy proposals.
  • A journalist might write, “The goal of propaganda is often to delegitimize opposing viewpoints.”

29. Delegitimate

To delegitimate something is to declare it as illegitimate or not valid. It is a way of degrading the legitimacy or authenticity of something.

  • For instance, “They delegitimized his claim to the throne by questioning his heritage.”
  • In a legal context, someone might argue, “The evidence presented delegitimates the prosecution’s case.”
  • A historian might study documents that delegitimate certain historical accounts.
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30. Deformity

A deformity refers to a physical abnormality or malformation. It is a way of degrading someone based on their physical appearance.

  • For example, “They mocked her deformity, causing her immense emotional pain.”
  • In a discussion about body positivity, someone might say, “We should celebrate our differences and not shame others for their deformities.”
  • A doctor might explain, “A deformity can be caused by genetic factors or external trauma.”

31. Deformalize

To remove or reduce the level of formality or seriousness in something.

  • For example, “Let’s deformalize the dress code for the party and make it more casual.”
  • In a workplace, a manager might suggest, “We should deformalize our meetings to encourage more open discussion.”
  • A student might say, “I love taking this class because the professor really knows how to deformalize the learning experience.”

32. Bash

To strongly and harshly criticize or speak negatively about someone or something.

  • For instance, “The film critics really bashed the new blockbuster movie.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t bash her for making a mistake. We all make them.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might yell, “Stop bashing my ideas and listen to what I have to say!”

33. Tear apart

To completely destroy or criticize something or someone in a severe or harsh manner.

  • For example, “The tornado tore apart the entire town.”
  • A reviewer might say, “The critics tore apart the author’s latest novel.”
  • In a heated argument, one person might yell, “You’re tearing apart my self-esteem with your hurtful words!”

34. Cut down

To belittle, diminish, or reduce the importance or value of someone or something.

  • For instance, “She always cuts me down and makes me feel small.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t cut down his achievements just because you’re jealous.”
  • In a team meeting, a manager might say, “Let’s not cut down any ideas. Every suggestion is valuable.”

35. Defame

To damage or harm someone’s reputation by spreading false or damaging information about them.

  • For example, “He sued the tabloid for defaming his character.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t defame her just because you’re angry at her.”
  • In a political campaign, one candidate might accuse the other of defaming their name.
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36. Denigrate

To denigrate means to criticize or belittle someone or something, often in a derogatory or insulting manner. It involves making negative statements or spreading negative opinions about someone or something.

  • For example, in a heated political debate, one might denigrate their opponent by saying, “They have no real experience and are completely unqualified.”
  • In a social setting, someone might denigrate a person’s fashion choices by saying, “That outfit is so tacky, it’s embarrassing.”
  • A critic might denigrate a movie by calling it, “A predictable and poorly-acted mess.”

37. Deplorable

Deplorable is an adjective used to describe something or someone that is deserving of strong condemnation or criticism. It implies that the actions, behavior, or situation is shameful, disgraceful, or morally unacceptable.

  • For instance, someone might describe a corrupt politician’s actions as “deplorable and unethical.”
  • In a discussion about human rights violations, one might say, “The treatment of those prisoners is absolutely deplorable.”
  • A person might express their disapproval of a friend’s behavior by saying, “Your actions last night were deplorable and hurtful.”

38. Depreciate

To depreciate means to belittle or insult someone, often in a mocking or dismissive manner. It involves making derogatory comments or gestures to undermine someone’s worth or importance.

  • For example, in a group setting, someone might depreciate another person’s opinion by saying, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
  • In a friendly banter, someone might depreciate their friend’s athletic abilities by saying, “You couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.”
  • A person might depreciate their own achievements by saying, “It was just luck, nothing special.”