con·​de·​scen·​sion ˌkän-di-ˈsen(t)-shən How to pronounce condescension (audio)
: patronizing attitude or behavior
scoffing condescension by the "we know better than you" peopleA. J. Anderson
: voluntary descent from one's rank or dignity in relations with an inferior

Examples of condescension in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If hypocrisy and condescension had an official slogan, that would be it. Marci Robin, Allure, 10 Oct. 2023 Unsettling things happen to and around Anna that her husband dismisses with Czuchry’s trademark mix of charm and condescension. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 There was so little condescension in Sakamoto’s work, toward other music or even his own previous careers. Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 2023 Something tells me, though, that Elizabeth Zott would prefer honest scrutiny to polite condescension. TIME, 13 Oct. 2023 Her concern for her single, insomniac brother is sincere, and at moments doesn’t quite skirt condescension. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Oct. 2023 Even so, who better than Tina Fey to play a self-important, slightly bullying know-it-all who conceals her questionable competence behind a thin layer of condescension? Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 9 Sep. 2023 Crypto conviction — or just curiosity — is not something that merits condescension from the olds and scolds of personal finance. Ron Lieber, New York Times, 15 Aug. 2023 There was sneering condescension, of course, but there were also some honest attempts to track the roots of the look. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'condescension.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of condescension was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near condescension

Cite this Entry

“Condescension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​de·​scen·​sion ˌkän-di-ˈsen-chən How to pronounce condescension (audio)
: the attitude or behavior of a person who condescends

More from Merriam-Webster on condescension

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