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A pejorative (also called a derogatory term,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> derogative term, a term of abuse, or a term of disparagement) is a word or grammatical form expressing a low opinion of someone or something, or showing a lack of respect for someone or something.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It is also used as a criticism, hostility, disregard and/or disrespect. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social or cultural groups but not in others. Sometimes, a term may begin as a pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense (or vice versa) in some or all contexts.

Name slurs can also involve an insulting or disparaging innuendo,<ref name="MW">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> rather than being a direct pejorative. In some cases, a person's name can be redefined with an unpleasant or insulting meaning, or applied to a group of people considered by the majority to be inferior or lower in social class, as a group label with a disparaging meaning. Also, an ethnic slur or racial slur can be pejorative and to imply people of those groups are inferior or deficient.

Pejorative sections
Intro  Etymology  Melioration of pejoratives  See also  Notes  Further reading  

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