Examples of contemptuous in a Sentence
- He owned a fine Kentucky rifle, with a cherry wood stock, and was contemptuous of the bulky carbines most of the troop had adopted. —Larry McMurtry, Dead Man's Walk, 1995
- In his 1978 Harvard commencement address, Mr. Solzhenitsyn seemed at times contemptuous of American democracy … —Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Times Book Review, 24 Nov. 1991
- He felt familiar enough to indulge in outbursts of rage or contemptuous sarcasm in her presence, and to display the most withering side of his character, lashing out at the people he despised. —Cynthia Ozick, New Yorker, 20 Nov. 1989
loutish tourists who are contemptuous of the ways and traditions of their host countries
contemptuous comments about the baseball team's pathetic showings
Recent Examples of contemptuous from the Web
In his thirteenth full-length play, Albee wasn’t seeking revenge against women, or, specifically, against his mother, whose contemptuous vitriol dogged him throughout his life.
Whether Akhavi was contemptuous of the proceedings or truly believed in her own innocence is unknown.
By contrast, court records unearthed by the recent Uber/Waymo lawsuit showed that a key architect of Uber’s driverless car technology was contemptuous of this approach to driverless car safety.
It should be known that at the Criminal Court the aggressors, unpunished, contemptuous and proud, are mixed in with their victims.
All of which helps explain why Mr. Vagali and much of the Italian electorate is either indifferent or contemptuous of the national election campaign that, on March 4, will determine who runs Europe’s fourth-largest economy.
This is the GOP in 2018 in a nutshell: a party utterly contemptuous of democratic norms and palpably terrified of an even remotely fair political fight.
Right away, the judgmental gaze — desirous or invasive, concerned, indifferent or contemptuous — is established as an underlying motif.
Most of the rah-rah nationalists on cable, talk radio, and social media have been remarkably blasé, more interested in Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds than those of a contemptuous foreign power.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contemptuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
belittling, decrying, degrading, demeaning, denigrative, denigratory, deprecatory, depreciative, depreciatory, derisory, derogative, derogatory, detractive, disdainful, disparaging, pejorative, scornful, slighting, uncomplimentary;
CONTEMPTUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of contemptuous for English Language Learners
: feeling or showing deep hatred or disapproval : feeling or showing contempt
CONTEMPTUOUS Defined for Kids
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