Examples of contemptible in a Sentence
I've never met a more selfish, contemptible person.
the contemptible thieves who stole the Christmas gifts intended for needy children
What Is the Difference Between contemptuous and contemptible?
Contemptuous and contemptible are sometimes confused with each other. This is neither surprising, as they are similar in appearance, nor is it unprecedented: the words were used interchangeably for several hundred years (from the 16th through the 18th century), with each one meaning both "deserving contempt" and "showing contempt." By the early 19th century, some commentators began raising objections when the words were used synonymously, suggesting that they should be distinguished, with contemptuous meaning only "showing contempt" and contemptible only "deserving contempt."
In the following passage, for example, a would-be critic is ridiculed for using contemptible in the sense "showing contempt":
“Young man! my opinion of you is very contemptible.” “All your opinions are contemptible,” rejoined Phillip, quietly. – Garry Avenel, Zou Mou, in The Iris, September, 1841
The distinction hinted at in this rebuke has been observed in English, by professional writers anyway, for close to 200 years.
Origin and Etymology of contemptible
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of contemptible
CONTEMPTIBLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of contemptible for English Language Learners
: not worthy of respect or approval : deserving contempt
CONTEMPTIBLE Defined for Kids
Definition of contemptible for Students
: deserving or causing a person to be despised a contemptible criminal a contemptible lie
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up contemptible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).