Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

condescending

adjective con·de·scend·ing \ˌkän-di-ˈsen-diŋ\

Simple Definition of condescending

  • : showing that you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people

Full Definition of condescending

  1. :  showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others

con·de·scend·ing·ly play \-ˈsen-diŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of condescending

  1. The next big sequel to roll off the assembly line (awful, condescending phrase, but this is a case of what you have to do when the shoe fits) is going to be a sequel to “Rebecca,” Daphne du Maurier's classic 1930's suspense novel. —Stephen King, New York Times Book Review, 6 June 1993

  2. … when the picturesque was seen close up, the “happy poverty” of the peasant was not always happy. There was something unpleasantly condescending, an element of esthetic slumming in the tourist's or the artist's view of picturesqueness. —Anatole Broyard, New York Times Book Review, 1 Oct. 1989

  3. I always imagined publishers were rather snarky and condescending and made a point of crabbing one's work, but he didn't a bit. —Elizabeth Bowen, letter, 19 Jan. 1923

  4. His comments were offensive and condescending to us.



Origin of condescending

(see condescend)


First Known Use: 1660

Rhymes with condescending



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up condescending? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ