noun dis·dain \dis-ˈdān\

: a feeling of strong dislike or disapproval of someone or something you think does not deserve respect

Full Definition of DISDAIN

:  a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior :  scorn

Examples of DISDAIN

  1. He regarded their proposal with disdain.
  2. I have a healthy disdain for companies that mistreat their workers.
  3. McCarthy's indifference to accolades and his disdain for grandstanding … turned into a disdain even for being understood. —Louis Menand, New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2004

Origin of DISDAIN

Middle English desdeyne, from Anglo-French desdaign, from desdeigner (see 2disdain)
First Known Use: 14th century


verb dis·dain \dis-ˈdān\

: to strongly dislike or disapprove of (someone or something)

: to refuse to do (something) because of feelings of dislike or disapproval

Full Definition of DISDAIN

transitive verb
:  to look on with scorn <disdained him as a coward>
:  to refuse or abstain from because of a feeling of contempt or scorn <disdained to answer their questions>
:  to treat as beneath one's notice or dignity

Examples of DISDAIN

  1. They disdained him for being weak.
  2. She disdained to answer their questions.
  3. The right eyes him [Thomas Jefferson] suspiciously as a limousine Jacobin so enamored of revolution that he once suggested we should have one every 20 years. The left disdains him as your basic race hypocrite. —Charles Krauthammer, Time, 22 May 2000

Origin of DISDAIN

Middle English desdeynen, from Anglo-French desdeigner, dedeigner, from Vulgar Latin *disdignare, from Latin dis- + dignare to deign — more at deign
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: disdainerPrevious Word in the Dictionary: disc weederAll Words Near: disdain
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears