de·​spi·​ca·​ble | \di-ˈspi-kə-bəl, ˈdes-(ˌ)pi- \

Definition of despicable 

: deserving to be despised : so worthless or obnoxious as to rouse moral indignation despicable behavior

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Other Words from despicable

despicableness noun
despicably \-​blē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for despicable

contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy mean arousing or deserving scorn. contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values. a contemptible liar despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation. a despicable crime pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity. a pitiable attempt at tragedy sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness. this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust. a scurvy crew of hangers-on

Examples of despicable in a Sentence

She is a despicable traitor. even within the prison population, pedophiles are regarded as particularly despicable

Recent Examples on the Web

The official White House Twitter account posted about Mollie’s death to promote anti-immigrant policy and even made a glib comparison to its despicable family separation policy. Alyssa Milano, Harper's BAZAAR, "Republicans Are Waging War on Women—and Two Women Can Stop Them," 20 Sep. 2018 So, either there’s one in New York magazine that’s despicable and lowbrow and highbrow. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Startup advisor Elad Gil is worried that we’re losing our ability to be optimistic about tech," 20 Aug. 2018 One of the most despicable tricks of the patriarchy is to peddle the myth that men can’t do more around the house because they weren’t raised doing so. New York Times, "Save Me From This Domestic Drudgery!," 8 May 2018 But this season, the audience will start to better understand how the fun, slightly mischievous, but good-hearted man who was Jimmy became Saul, who does so many despicable things. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: 'Better Call Saul' gets ready to break bad in new Season 4 photos," 29 June 2018 And, of course, there have been some knowingly despicable reactions to the administration’s zero-tolerance policy from those in the President's circle. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Vanessa Trump Outdoes Herself With the Most Tone-Deaf Tweet About Family Separation," 20 June 2018 In America, the way people are treated at companies is despicable. David Gelles, New York Times, "Richard and Holly Branson: A Father-Daughter Conversation," 29 June 2018 Some of the hate speech directed at me is as ugly as Roseanne Barr’s despicable racist tweet about President Obama's advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "A conversation about racism in Miami should include all groups – not just Cubans," 1 June 2018 The attacks carried out by Aum were despicable and those responsible deserve to be punished. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Former leader of Japanese doomsday cult hanged over 1995 sarin gas attack," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despicable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of despicable

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despicable

Late Latin despicabilis, from Latin despicari to despise

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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The first known use of despicable was in 1553

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English Language Learners Definition of despicable

: very bad or unpleasant : deserving to be despised


de·​spi·​ca·​ble | \di-ˈspi-kə-bəl, ˈde-spik-\

Kids Definition of despicable

: very bad : deserving to be despised a despicable act of cowardice

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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