con·​de·​scen·​sion | \ˌkän-di-ˈsen(t)-shən \

Definition of condescension 

1 : patronizing attitude or behavior scoffing condescension by the "we know better than you" people— A. J. Anderson

2 : voluntary descent from one's rank or dignity in relations with an inferior

Examples of condescension in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As today's proceedings went on, that low hum of condescension grew louder and louder. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "During Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony, Contempt for Women Was on Full Display," 27 Sep. 2018 In recent years, rising concerns over incivility - insults, condescension, dismissiveness and the like - have led to increasing research on the topic by social scientists and psychologists. William Wan,, "We often fight rudeness with rudeness. And it can be contagious, research shows," 27 June 2018 Silverman is an observant, lyrical and kind writer, generous to all and without any notes of condescension in her writing. Chris Jones,, "In 'The Roommate' at Steppenwolf, directed by Phylicia Rashad, the Bronx meets Midwestern nice," 1 July 2018 Just don’t dismiss them as ill-informed, don’t insult them with condescension. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Stick to sports? No, we need more athletes like Oscar Robertson.," 26 June 2018 Granik presents this grange and trailer park culture without a trace of condescension. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Leave No Trace' shows empathy for those on the fringes of society," 29 June 2018 Not sympathy—not looking in on the lives of others with pity or condescension; but empathy—finding resonance in the feelings of others in a meaningful, experiential, even transformative way. Thomas Harlander, Los Angeles Magazine, "Eddie Huang’s Immigrant-Focused Food Show Can’t Come Soon Enough," 20 June 2018 Her marvelous lyrics, surrealistic fashion statements and stage antics imply confusion, concern and consternation, without a whisper of condescension. Doug Maccash,, "Attention Hangout Fest: Don't you dare miss Tank and the Bangas," 18 May 2018 Their performances have no hint of condescension or preciousness. New York Times, "Review: ‘Dance Nation,’ the Power and the Terror of Girls at 13," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'condescension.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of condescension

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for condescension

Late Latin condescension-, condescensio, from condescendere — see condescend

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for condescension

The first known use of condescension was in 1647

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English Language Learners Definition of condescension

: the attitude or behavior of people who believe they are more intelligent or better than other people

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