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A treatise, or history of the skin and its diseases.

DERN, a. [Sax. dearn.]

Solitary; sad; cruel. [Obs.] – More.


Sad; mournful. [Obs.]

DER-NIER', a. [Fr.]

Last; final; ultimate; as, the dernier resort. [I know not that it is used in any other phrase.]

DERN'LY, adv.

Sadly; mournfully. [Obs.] – More.

DER'O-GATE, v.i.

  1. To take away; to detract; to lessen by taking away a part; as, say nothing to derogate from the merit or reputation of a brave man. [The word is generally used in this sense.]
  2. To act beneath one's rank, place or birth. [Unusual.] – Shak.

DER'O-GATE, v.t. [L. derogo; de and rogo, to ask, to propose. In ancient Rome, rogo was used in proposing new laws, and derogo, in repealing some section of a law. Hence the sense is to take from or annul a part. Class Rg.]

  1. To repeal, annul or destroy the force and effect of some part of a law or established rule; to lessen the extent of a law; distinguished from abrogate. By several contrary customs, many of the civil and canon laws are controlled and derogated. Hale.
  2. To lessen the worth of a person or thing; to disparage. [In the foregoing senses, the word is now seldom used.]


Diminished in value; degraded; damaged. [Shakspeare uses derogate in this sense.]


In a manner to lessen or take from. – Shak.


Annulling a part; lessening by taking from.


  1. The act of annulling or revoking a law, or some part of it. More generally, the act of taking away or destroying the value or effect of any thing, or of limiting its extent, or of restraining its operation; as, an act of parliament is passed in derogation of the king's prerogative; we can not do any thing in derogation of the moral law.
  2. The act of taking something from merit, reputation or honor; a lessening of value or estimation; detraction; disparagement; with from or of; as, I say not this in derogation of Virgil; let nothing be said in derogation from his merit.


Derogatory. [The latter is mostly used.]


In a detracting manner.


The quality of being derogatory.


  1. Detracting or tending to lessen by taking something from; that lessens the extent, effect or value; with to. Let us entertain no opinions derogatory to the honor of God, or his moral government. Let us say nothing derogatory to the merit of our neighbor.
  2. A derogatory clause in a testament, is a sentence or secret character inserted by the testator, of which he reserves the knowledge to himself, with a condition that no will he may make hereafter shall be valid, unless this clause is inserted word for word; a precaution to guard against later wills extorted by violence or obtained by suggestion. – Encyc.


Daring. [Not in use.] – Spenser.

DER'VIS, n. [Persian.]

A Turkish priest or monk, who professes extreme poverty, and leads an austere life. – Encyc.

DES'CANT, n. [Sp. discante, discantar; dis and L. canto, to sing. See Cant. The Fr. dechanter has a different sense.]

  1. A song or tune composed in parts.
  2. A song or tune with various modulations. The wakeful nightingale All night long her amorous descant sung. – Milton.
  3. A discourse; discussion; disputation; animadversion, comment, or a series of comments.
  4. The art of composing music in several parts. Descant is plain, figurative and double. Plain descant is the ground-work of musical compositions, consisting in the orderly disposition of concords, answering to simple counterpoint. Figurative or florid descant, is that part of an air in which some discords are concerned. Double descant, is when the parts are so contrived, that the treble may be made the base, and the base the treble. – Bailey. Encyc.

DES-CANT', v.i.

  1. To run a division or variety with the voice, on a musical ground in true measure; to sing. – Bailey. Johnson.
  2. To discourse; to comment; to make a variety of remarks; to animadvert freely. A virtuous man should be pleased to find people descanting on his actions. Addison.


One who descants.


Remark; conjecture. – Burnet.


Singing in parts or with various modulations; discoursing freely; commenting.

DE-SCEND', v.i. [L. descendo; de and scando, to climb; W. discynu, from cynu, to rise, cwn, top; It. discendere; Fr. descendre; Sp. descender; Arm. disgenn. The root cwn is from extending, shooting, thrusting, as gin in begin.]

  1. To move or pass from a higher to a lower place; to move, come or go downward; to fall; to sink; to run or flow down; applicable to any kind of motion or of body. We descend on the feet, on wheels, or by falling. A torrent descends from a mountain. The rains descended, and the floods came. – Matt. vii.
  2. To go down, or to enter. He shall descend into battle and perish. – 1 Sam. xxvi.
  3. To come suddenly; to fall violently. And on the suitors let thy wrath descend. – Pope.
  4. To go in; to enter. He, with honest meditations fed, / Into himself descended. – Milton.
  5. To rush; to invade, as an enemy. The Grecian fleet descending on the town. – Dryden.
  6. To proceed from a source or original; to be derived. The beggar may descend from a prince, and a prince from a beggar.
  7. To proceed, as from father to son; to pass from a preceding possessor, in the order of lineage, or according to the laws of succession or inheritance. Thus, an inheritance descends to the son or next of kin; a crown descends to the heir.
  8. To pass from general to particular considerations; as, having explained the general subject, we will descend to particulars.
  9. To come down from an elevated or honorable station; in a figurative sense. Flavius is an honorable man; he can not descend to acts of meanness.
  10. In music, to fall in sound; to pass from any note to another less acute or shrill, or from sharp to flat. – Rousseau.

DE-SCEND', v.t.

To walk, move, or pass downward on a declivity; as, to descend a hill; to descend an inclined plain. [But this may be considered as elliptical; on or along being understood.]

DE-SCEND'ANT, n. [Fr. descendant; L. descendens.]

Any person proceeding from an ancestor in any degree; issue; offspring, in the line of generation, ad infinitum. We are all the descendants of Adam and Eve.