to regard or portray as less impressive or important than appearances indicate; depreciate; disparage.
The Baroness, when she desired to be-little the doctor, always called her a female.
Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
In saying these things there is no desire to be-little the reputation of any man; the facts were as here stated.
The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
to consider or speak of (something) as less valuable or important than it really is; disparage
to cause to make small; dwarf
1781, “to make small,” from be- + little (v.); first recorded in writings of Thomas Jefferson (and probably coined by him), who was roundly execrated for it in England:
Belittle! What an expression! It may be an elegant one in Virginia, and even perfectly intelligible; but for our part, all we can do is to guess at its meaning. For shame, Mr. Jefferson! [“European Magazine and London Review,” 1787, reporting on “Notes on the State of Virginia”; to guess was considered another barbarous Yankeeism.]
Jefferson used it to characterize Buffon’s view that American life was stunted by nature, which he was refuting. The figurative sense of “depreciate, scorn as worthless” (as the reviewers did to this word) is from 1797. Related: Belittled; belittling.
before long; soon. Contemporary Examples Michelle Obama’s Biggest Fashion Regret: belive it or not, FLOTUS too suffers from fashion remorse. Michelle Obama’s Biggest Fashion Regret; LVMH Launches Contest for Emerging Designers The Fashion Beast Team November 20, 2013 Historical Examples And that will lead the police to belive it was suicide you think? Daisy Ashford: […]
greatly loved; dear to the heart. a person who is greatly loved. Contemporary Examples At a public hearing, one parent argued that beloved was given a Lexile rating that equates to a 5th-grade reading level. How Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ Is Taught in Schools Anna Clark October 3, 2012 Shmuley Boteach speaks of abundant, ‘electrifying’ sex, […]
muddled; confused; dazed. Historical Examples Aye—an’ many’s the time ’twas on me tongue to call her a fool for her trouble, ye was that bewitched an’ bemazed, lad. The Harbor Master Theodore Goodridge Roberts I can see him still staring at me bemazed with his pipe half-way to his mouth, and the open book laid […]
Pierre Jean de [pyer zhahn duh] /pyɛr ʒɑ̃ də/ (Show IPA), 1780–1857, French poet. Historical Examples He did not wait for my answer, but rising, left the room, humming as he went some gay strain of beranger’s. The Professor (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell beranger has employed them in most of his songs, and Moore […]