Decrepit vs deprecate

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Decrepit and deprecate are two words that are very similar in spelling and pronunciation and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of decrepit and deprecate, where the words came from and some examples of their use in sentences,

Decrepit describes something that is worn out or broken down, something in poor shape because of neglect or advanced age. Decrepit is an adjective. The word decrepit is derived from the Latin word decrepitus which means infirm, aged or worn down.

Deprecate means to show disapproval for something, but may also mean to undervalue or belittle something. Deprecate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are deprecates, deprecated, deprecating. The word deprecate is derived from the Latin word deprecatus which means to pray for deliverance from something. A related term is self-deprecate which means to downplay one’s own accomplishments or abilities, to show humility, especially in a humorous fashion. Related words are self-deprecates, self-deprecated, self-deprecating.


He had not studied there (unlike the three prime ministers before him) and he considered the UK little more than a decrepit colonial power. (The New Straits Times)

The only one in the United States’ fleet big enough to do the job, the Coast Guard’s Polar Star, is a decrepit, 40-year-old vessel that members of the crew sometimes call ″a rust bucket.″ (The Columbus Dispatch)

It is lonely out there on court, the player has only herself or himself to laud or deprecate for what the scoreboard eventually proclaims. (The Statesman)

This heightened comic spirit is no doubt aided by the choice of veteran festival actor Quinn Mattfield as the Bard – a self-deprecating, worrisome author, who, when the play opens, is experiencing writer’s block. (The St. George News)