1. the act of disparaging or belittling the reputation or worth of a person, work, etc.


  1. a person, thing, circumstance, etc, that detracts
  2. the act of discrediting or detracting from another’s reputation, esp by slander; disparagement

mid-14c., from Old French detraccion “detraction, disparagement, denigration,” from Latin detractionem (nominative detractio) “a drawing off,” from past participle stem of detrahere “take down, pull down, disparage,” from de- “down” (see de-) + trahere “to pull” (see tract (n.1)). The fem. form detractress is attested from 1716.

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