Definition of condescend
1a : to descend to a less formal or dignified level : unbend would not condescend to respond to such a crass remarkb : to waive the privileges of rank
2 : to assume an air of superiority The writer treats her readers as equals and never condescends to them.
Examples of condescend in a Sentence
I will not condescend to answer the sore loser's charge that I cheated in order to win the race.
wealthy people who tend to be condescending toward their poor relations
Recent Examples of condescend from the Web
Condescending stereotypes about hard-working Midwesterners aside, the expectation of long hours is part of the tech industry’s DNA.
Co-workers Kelsey and Diana (Miriam Shor in hilarious form) condescend to Liza.
Kohl was regularly condescended to by those who considered him provincial and unsophisticated.
This ad sends the message that Quist is just as tied to the donor class, just as beholden to special interests, just as bereft of ideas and just as condescending to the struggles of ordinary Americans as a distant, dreaded, unaccountable elite.
Also does it without making deeply personal, petty, condescending.
Those reading this who might condescend to the third demand might recall the campus fashion of naming student housing after white supremacists.
Mr. Ratmansky doesn’t condescend to them or to the six couples of the corps de ballet.
Friedenberg for Commentary, and now his own writer was condescending to him in someone else’s pages.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'condescend'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What Is the Difference Between condescending and patronizing?
Very few words in English have exactly the same meaning; even words which appear to be entirely synonymous often will be found to have small differences in certain contexts. The words condescending and patronizing present a fine example of this. At first glance these words appear to be defined somewhat circularly: condescending often has the word "patronizing" in its definition, and patronize is defined, in part, as “to adopt an air of condescension toward.”
But both of these words have specialized senses that lend a shade of meaning to their synonymous senses. Patronizing can mean "giving support to" or "being a customer of," suggesting that the "condescending" sense implies superiority gained through a donor-dependent relationship.
The verb condescend used to be free of any hint of the offensive superiority it usually suggests today. It could mean literally "to go or come down" or, figuratively, "to willingly lower oneself to another’s level," senses that are still occasionally encountered in writings on the Bible. The idea of self-consciously lowering oneself is implied in the "patronizing" sense of condescending.
Origin and Etymology of condescend
Middle English, from Anglo-French condescendre, from Late Latin condescendere, from Latin com- + descendere to descend
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
CONDESCEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of condescend for English Language Learners
: to show that you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people
: to do something that you usually do not do because you believe you are too important to do it
CONDESCEND Defined for Kids
Definition of condescend for Students
1 : to stoop to the level of someone considered less important These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person … — Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer
2 : to grant favors with a show of being better than others She only condescended to speak to me because she needed something.
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