despise, contemn, scorn, disdain mean to regard as unworthy of one's notice or consideration. despise may suggest an emotional response ranging from strong dislike to loathing.
despises cowards contemn implies a vehement condemnation of a person or thing as low, vile, feeble, or ignominious.
contemns the image of women promoted by advertisers scorn implies a ready or indignant contempt.
scorns the very thought of retirement disdain implies an arrogant or supercilious aversion to what is regarded as unworthy.
disdained popular music
Did You Know?
Contemn is derived from the Latin verb contemnere, a word formed by combining con- and temnere ("to despise"). Surprisingly, our verb may have come within a hair's breadth of being spelled "contempn." The Middle French word contempner arrived in Middle English as "contempnen," but that extra "p" disappeared, leaving us with "contemn." You may be wondering about the connection between "contemn" and "contempt," and not surprisingly, they are related. "Contempt" comes from Latin contemptus, which comes from "contemnere." "Contemn" first turned up in print in the 15th century; "contempt" dates from the 14th century.
Examples of contemn in a Sentence
arrogant critics who contemn the general public's taste in art
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contemn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.