Ready to Rant in Portuguese? Learn How to Use Avacalhar

One-word Portuguese Lesson [Video]: Avacalhar

Today’s Portuguese lesson is about a versatile and expressive verb in Brazilian Portuguese: avacalhar.

This verb is especially useful when you need to express dissatisfaction or frustration with a service or product. Hopefully, you’ll be using avacalhar rather than being on the receiving end!

Avacalhar means:

  • to ridicule
  • to demoralize
  • to demean
  • to make a travesty of

Avacalhar is a regular verb.

Let me show you examples using it.

Example 1:

  • Os críticos avacalharam o filme. = The critics ridiculed the movie.

Example 2:

Milena and Clara are going out to dance. Milena is wearing her new, colorful dress. Here’s their conversation:

Milena: Gostou do meu vestido novo?

Clara, tirando onda: Eu não sabia que a gente ia pra uma festa de carnaval.

Milena: Não precisa avacalhar!


Milena: How do you like my new dress?

Clara, teasingly: I didn’t know we were going to a carnival party.

Milena: There’s no need to ridicule me.

Example 3:

(talking about a soccer game) O narrador avacalhou o desempenho do time. = The commentator ridiculed the team’s performance.

This is an old video from when I wasn’t comfortable with the technology, so it’s not the best quality. However, you can still hear the pronunciation of avacalhar and the first example:

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