deprecate, depreciate
1. The two words are similar in form and in current use overlap somewhat in meaning, but their origin is different. Deprecate is from Latin deprecari ‘to prevent by prayer’ and its primary current meaning is ‘to express disapproval of (a person or thing)’:

• When news of this ‘record’ multiple birth emerged last weekend, few dared to deprecate it —Sunday Times, 1987.

Depreciate is from Latin depretiare ‘to lower in value’ and currently means (1) without an object, ‘to become lower in value or price’

• (Experience has shown me that their cars are more reliable and depreciate less —Mail on Sunday, 1985)

and (2) with an object, ‘to undervalue, to disparage’

• (Before this Wilde depreciated pity as a motive in art; now he embraced it —R. Ellmann, 1969).

It is in this last meaning that the overlap in meaning occurs, the intruder normally being deprecate in place of depreciate:

• Dealers have felt a need to deprecate their own firms' values, to disassociate themselves from them —A. Davidson, 1989

• A talent that results in giving exquisite pleasure to collectors of memorabilia is to be admired, not deprecated —M. J. Staples, 1992.

As a result depreciate is being more and more confined to its financial meaning in relation to currencies, share values, etc.
2. This intrusion on the part of deprecate is reflected in the derivative adjectives self-deprecating and self-deprecatory meaning ‘disparaging oneself’, and the noun self-deprecation, where the meanings are closer to depreciate than deprecate:

• Barton…smiled, and then his face changed again, the old, self-deprecating expression over it —Susan Hill, 1971

• Sadly he declined, saying in a charmingly self-deprecatory way that he doubted he had any views worth hearing —L. Kennedy, 1990

• She may arguably be the most successful female chef in Britain, but her modesty and self-deprecation is more akin to that of a fish-and-chip shop-owner —Scotsman, 2007.

These forms and uses are now fully established, although self-depreciation is also occasionally found:

• She [George Eliot] wrote of her ‘isolation’ or ‘excommunication’ from the world and she was prone to morbid self-depreciation —Times, 1996.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • depreciate — de·pre·ci·ate /di prē shē ˌāt/ vb at·ed, at·ing vt: to subject to depreciation: lower the value of vi: to fall in value compare appreciate Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Depreciate — De*pre ci*ate (d[ e]*pr[=e] sh[i^]*[=a]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Depreciated} (d[ e]*pr[=e] sh[i^]*[=a] t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Depreciating} (d[ e]*pr[=e] sh[i^]*[=a] t[i^]ng).] [L. depretiatus, depreciatus, p. p. of depretiare, ciare, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Depreciate — De*pre ci*ate, v. i. To fall in value; to become of less worth; to sink in estimation; as, a paper currency will depreciate, unless it is convertible into specie. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • depreciate — [v1] devalue, lose value abate, cheapen, decay, decrease, decry, deflate, depress, deteriorate, devalorize, diminish, downgrade, drop, dwindle, erode, fall, lessen, lower, mark down, reduce, soften, underrate, undervalue, worsen, write down,… …   New thesaurus

  • depreciate — (v.) mid 15c., from L. depretiatus, pp. of depretiare to lower the price of, undervalue, from DE (Cf. de ) down (see DE (Cf. de )) + pretium price (see PRICE (Cf. price)). Related: Depreciated; deprec …   Etymology dictionary

  • depreciate — *decry, disparage, derogate, detract, belittle, minimize Analogous words: underestimate, undervalue, underrate (see base words at ESTIMATE): asperse, *malign Antonyms: appreciate Contrasted words: prize, cherish, treasure, value (see APPRECIATE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • depreciate — ► VERB 1) reduce in value over a period of time. 2) disparage or belittle. DERIVATIVES depreciation noun depreciatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin depreciare lower in price, undervalue …   English terms dictionary

  • depreciate — [dē prē′shē āt΄, diprē′shē āt΄] vt. depreciated, depreciating [ME depreciaten < LL depretiatus, pp. of depretiare, to lower the price of (in LL(Ec), to make light of) < L de , from + pretiare, to value < pretium, PRICE] 1. to reduce in… …   English World dictionary

  • Depreciate — To allocate the purchase cost of an asset over its life. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * depreciate de‧pre‧ci‧ate [dɪˈpriːʆieɪt] verb 1. [intransitive] to decrease in value over a period of time: • If you don t get your car serviced… …   Financial and business terms

  • depreciate — To allocate the purchase cost of an asset over its life. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * depreciate de‧pre‧ci‧ate [dɪˈpriːʆieɪt] verb 1. [intransitive] to decrease in value over a period of time: • If you don t get your car serviced… …   Financial and business terms

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