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

contemptible

play
adjective con·tempt·ible \kən-ˈtem(p)-tə-bəl\

Simple Definition of contemptible

  • : not worthy of respect or approval : deserving contempt

Full Definition of contemptible

  1. 1 :  worthy of contempt

  2. 2 obsolete :  scornful, contemptuous

con·tempt·i·bil·i·ty play \-ˌtem(p)-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
con·tempt·ible·ness noun
con·tempt·ibly play \-ˈtem(p)-tə-blē\ adverb

Examples of contemptible

  1. I've never met a more selfish, contemptible person.

  2. <the contemptible thieves who stole the Christmas gifts intended for needy children>



14th Century

First Known Use of contemptible

14th century

Synonym Discussion of contemptible

contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy mean arousing or deserving scorn. contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values <a contemptible liar>. despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation <a despicable crime>. pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity <a pitiable attempt at tragedy>. sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness <this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car>. scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust <a scurvy crew of hangers-on>.


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez duvet kittly-benders
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