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

He’d be accused of cultural appropriation, ethnic condescension, racial insensitivity. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Baby, There’s a Chilling Effect Outside," 3 Jan. 2019 This is a clap of incredulity, maybe even condescension. SELF, "Please Stop Trying to 'Encourage' Fat Athletes When You See Us Exercising," 26 May 2019 Where Huxtable was full of tricks and condescension, and Troy was broken and domineering, Joseph is hardworking, patient, and trusting. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 Again and again, they are told that vocal qualities and tics like higher pitch, upspeak, and vocal fry — which are usually associated with women — are worthy of condescension and invalidating to the speaker. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Star Wars voice actress mocks Christine Blasey Ford’s voice during Kavanaugh testimony," 27 Sep. 2018 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

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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Statistics for condescension

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for condescension

The first known use of condescension was in 1647

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with condescension

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Spanish Central: Translation of condescension

Nglish: Translation of condescension for Spanish Speakers

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