Belittle

gambheyhey

Senior Member
Chinese
The longest men’s final in Wimbledon history, a scintillating epic battle in which Connors triumphed over McEnroe, lasted 254 minutes, belittling the 165 minutes that saw Venus Williams beat Davenport in the longest women’s final in 2005.

Does "belittle" fit in here? I think "beshort" sounds better, but there isn't such a word.

What do you think?
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    No "beshort" is not a word. To belittle means to make look small. I suppose literally in this example it is correct, however, it usual usage, which is metaphorical, is to make a person "feel small" (inferior) by ridiculing them, etc.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Belittle is a word seldom used by English speakers. It sounds old-fashioned and is old-fashioned. As Mole says, it does ridicule and usually sports' record comparisons simply state the facts and let the reader be the judge. Eg., here "lasted 254 minutes, topping the 165 minutes that saw . . . . " or "fully more than 89 minutes more than the 165 minutes that saw . . . ."
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    Belittle is a word seldom used by English speakers. It sounds old-fashioned and is old-fashioned. As Mole says, it does ridicule and usually sports' record comparisons simply state the facts and let the reader be the judge. Eg., here "lasted 254 minutes, topping the 165 minutes that saw . . . . " or "fully more than 89 minutes more than the 165 minutes that saw . . . ."
    Hello everyone
    Based on this comment, "belittle" is old-fashioned. I wonder what is the update version of this word in everyday speech?

    I am looking for a verb / phrasal verb that is used when someone makes the other look less important or unimportant in an upsetting way because the object of the act feels embarrassed and ashamed.

    I know the verbs:

    a. humiliate someone
    = to make someone feel very embarrassed and ashamed:
    - She enjoyed humiliating me in front of the other students.
    Source: HUMILIATE (verb) definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary


    b. put someone down:
    = to make someone feel silly or not important by criticizing them:
    - Why did you have to put me down in front of everybody like that?
    Source: put sb down

    However:
    1. I don't know if they both mean "belittle" in modern English.
    2. I have my doubts whether they mean the same. That said, I guess they are the same, with the only nuance which is their register where "put someone down" is just a bit less formal.

    Please let me know about them.
    Thank you.
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    I don't agree that it's old-fashioned. There are colloquial alternatives of course.
    Well, then may I know whether you believe all these three:
    - belittle someone
    - humiliate someone
    - put someone down
    mean the same thing just as I said the vary in register where "belittle" is the most formal and "put down" is the least one and "humiliate" is neutral.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Humiliate" isn't the same as "belittle", though there's some overlap. You can find example sentences in dictionaries.

    He belittled my efforts, but I couldn't care less.
    He mocked me in front of my colleagues: I was humiliated.

    It's possible for someone to belittle things you do, but you can't talk of humiliating one aspect of a person. And if someone humilites you it's because you feel humiliated.




    I agree that "put down" and "belittle" are similar, and that they belong to different registers.
     
    Last edited:

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    "Humiliate" isn't the same as "belittle", though there's some overlap. You can find example sentences in dictionaries.

    He belittled my efforts, but I couldn't care less.
    He mocked me in front of my colleagues: I was humiliated.



    I agree that "put down" and "belittle" are similar, and that they belong to different registers.
    Agreed. Just please let me know "put down" means "belittle" or "humiliate"?
    That will let me know many things.
     
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