Perhaps "compliment", but are there any other ideas?

  • 2
    Complimentary, praising.
    – user66974
    Jul 31, 2015 at 21:32
  • 1
    Several online dictionaries provide synonyms and antonyms. Consult those first, and then if none of the possibilities offered there meets your needs, ask here, explaining why.
    – TimR
    Jul 31, 2015 at 21:33
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    Etymologically, pejorative comes from Latin peior 'worse'. Its opposite is melior 'better'. So an antonym could be meliorative, with or without an initial a-. Jul 31, 2015 at 21:33
  • @TimRomano I think this is a good question because the online thesauruses I scoured don't capture the connotation of "pejorative." Pejorative implies unnecessarily negative, while words like "complimentary" or "lauding" don't imply that at all.
    – faraza
    Jul 31, 2015 at 22:44
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    @Faraz Abidi: something like sycophantic or fawning?
    – TimR
    Jul 31, 2015 at 22:58

4 Answers 4


The fancy latinate term having the opposite sense to perjorative is approbative.

From Wiktionary:

approbative: A word or grammatical form which denotes a positive affect expressing the appreciation or approval of the speaker.

From the Collaborative International Dictionary of English:

approbative (adj.): Approving, or implying approbation.

From the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia:

approbative: Approving; expressing, implying, or of the nature of approbation.


When I think of an antonym for pejorative, ameliorative comes to mind.

to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve

Also, just an anecdote but FWIW in my English classes we would break a word or concept into a t-chart with its respective pejorative and ameliorative connotations.

  • What's a t-chart and what level of English language?
    – Mitch
    Aug 1, 2015 at 0:28
  • @Mitch A t-chart is when you simply draw a lower-case 't' and then put two words on top of the t's arms and underneath you write related opinions for the respective terms underneath the arms. This was used in my English courses in high school and college (American).
    – maxwell
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:33

I've been using 'meliorative' for years...I'm a secondary English teacher in the UK, though this in itself does not mean I'm correct...

  • 2
    Please use the answer box to explain why your word is a good choice. Jan 10, 2016 at 17:42

Online thesauruses list answers like "praising" or "complimentary," and while these are technically antonyms, they don't really capture the connotation of pejorative. Merriam Webster describes pejorative as "disparaging" or "belittling" which are not the features of level-headed criticism. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pejorative Pejoratives implies unnecessary or unfair hostility towards a subject (e.g. if you use the pejorative "thinkpiece" to refer to an article, you are mocking it as being pretentious) so I think an antonym should feature a similar level of unnecessary praise.

I think something like "flattery" or its synonyms. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/flattery

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