Max from Cadillac asked
whether deprecate and depreciate are simply variant spellings of the same word.
The answer is no.
Originally, to deprecate
was to pray against evil, whether to avert it altogether or to remove it. It
comes from a Latin word that meant to request. Its opposite is imprecate, meaning to call
evil upon someone. In our day,
the word deprecate has been secularized and often is taken to mean to
express disapproval, to disparage, to belittle. Some commentators see this as confusion with
the next word, depreciate.
Depreciate means to
lower in value. It comes from a Latin word meaning price. Its opposite is
appreciate, to increase in value. The word precious is a first cousin. While
most people use precious to mean dear or close to the heart, it originally
meant a commodity that was valuable or pricey.
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