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" people A. J. Anderson
: voluntary descent from one's rank or dignity in relations with an inferior

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This widespread condescension was reflected in a nickname that Stacy Arruda, the early NIPC agent who went on to a career as a supervisor in the Cyber Division, had for them: dolphins. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, 22 Oct. 2022 The press has always treated NOPEC with condescension, without ever really expressing what’s substantively wrong with it. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 10 Oct. 2022 Alma’s condescension and inability to grasp the terrifying reality of Trixie’s situation fractures their relationship and drives Trixie away. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 20 Dec. 2021 Those looking to take offense can certainly find condescension in the sentiment — or probably in its tone, depending on how it is said. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 When Mimmi and Emma lock eyes one day at the smoothie counter, there’s an awkward exchange tinged with hostility — the former’s armor of condescension crossing the latter’s open book vulnerability. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2022 Here the appeal stems more from being giddily appalled at Miranda’s operatic condescension. Steven Oxman, Variety, 8 Aug. 2022 The Democrats running for state auditor clashed in a lively GBH debate Monday that featured dueling demonstrations of their fluency in Spanish, barbs traded over a gas tax increase, and one charge of male condescension. Stephanie Ebbert,, 8 Aug. 2022 Swallowed by a puffy fat suit and squawking out her dialogue in a piercing Midwestern whine, Zellweger-as-Pam simply oozes narcissistic condescension. Ew Staff,, 28 July 2022 See More

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.

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 2 Dec. 2022.

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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