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
London Rules is the fifth set in Slough House, where MI5 leaves its misfits in the doubtful care of Jackson Lamb, a flatulent and contemptuous genius of tradecraft.
Kennedy was referring to one of the state civil-rights commissioner’s contemptuous statement about the baker’s faith.
Yet today, what looms foremost in the minds of its people—not just Putin and his officials, but ordinary Russian citizens—are the disastrous consequences of the Soviet collapse and the half-gleeful, half-contemptuous Western response that followed.
Most Democrats were either wearily contemptuous of the proceedings, or asked panelists unrelated questions about Cambridge Analytica and bot regulation.
In America, there's always been a contemptuous crowd thirsty to pick off the extremists in and caricature movements for social change.
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.
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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