con·​de·​scen·​sion | \ ˌkän-di-ˈsen(t)-shən How to pronounce condescension (audio) \

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 Their condescension is why 64% of Americans are so fearful of job offshoring. George Tyler, Fortune, "How Biden and the Democrats can win back working-class Americans," 22 Feb. 2021 Whatever the continent’s problems, the intelligent and resourceful citizens of its many nations could do without celebrity condescension. Jack Butler, National Review, "‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Yes — So Stop Singing," 24 Dec. 2020 Time’s kinetic puzzle-pieces are a new form of liberal condescension. Armond White, National Review, "The 100 Percent Pure Cliché of Prison-Reform Activism," 30 Dec. 2020 But there are challenges as well, starting with the need for a sharp but generous take on the actors’ vanity and condescension. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Prom’ Review: Sitting This One Out," 3 Dec. 2020 Her husband, a university lecturer and expert mansplainer, played with bitter condescension by Daniel Ings, immediately changes the locks. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "“I Hate Suzie” Is a Brutally Funny Unravelling," 21 Nov. 2020 England is continually astonished by the strange ways of his new acquaintances who treat him with condescension even while depending on his medical knowledge. Washington Post, "50 notable works of fiction in 2020," 19 Nov. 2020 The line is thin between resolve and recalcitrance, conviction and condescension. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "How a Human Rights Angel Lost Her Halo," 14 Nov. 2020 But a whole lot also takes the form of contempt and condescension from big industry and from coastal city dwellers who are oblivious to their daily realities, and whose scorn drives them crazy. Washington Post, "Trump’s America, through the lens of two Italian photographers," 24 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for condescension

Time Traveler

The first known use of condescension was in 1647

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Statistics for condescension

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Condescension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for condescension



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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Nglish: Translation of condescension for Spanish Speakers

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