Definition - A figure of speech where something is described in a way that reduces its importance.

Example -
Referring to Shakespeare as just another DWM (i.e. Dead White Male).

Etymology -
In Greek the word means "lowness of style."

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1589:
"If ye abase your thing or matter by ignorance or errour in the choise of your word, then is it by vicious maner of speach called Tapinosis."
(Puttenham, English Poesie iii. xvii. (Arb.), 195)

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