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Daemon
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
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Location: Inside Farlex computers
belittle

(verb) To represent or speak of as contemptibly small or unimportant; disparage.

Synonyms: denigrate, derogate, minimize

Usage: Why should I bother trying to get good grades when all you do is belittle my achievements?
Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 3:11:31 AM
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Joined: 3/26/2013
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Such innocuous (be + little) in appearance word with such strong effect.

>> “I hope my tongue in prune juice smothers, If I belittle dogs and mothers”.
MTC
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:08:06 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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Yes, a simple but powerful word. It was coined by Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. President:

Etymology
From be- +‎ little. Coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 in "Notes on the State of Virginia": "So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic."

Aptly, Jefferson also coined the word for coining words, "neologize." A phrase maker par excellence, he invented the expression "Separation of Church and State" to describe the wall (somewhat porus) that the U.S. Constitution mandates exist between government and religion. These relatively minor accomplishments are not surprising for the author of The Declaration of Independence.

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