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Verb: denigrate  'de-nu,greyt
  1. Cause to seem less serious; play down
    "Don't denigrate his influence";
    - minimize, belittle, derogate, minimise [Brit]
     
  2. Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone
    - defame, slander, smirch, asperse, calumniate, smear, sully, besmirch

Derived forms: denigrates, denigrated, denigrating

Type of: accuse, belittle, charge, disparage, pick at