de·​spi·​ca·​ble | \ di-ˈspi-kə-bəl How to pronounce despicable (audio) , ˈde-(ˌ)spi- How to pronounce despicable (audio) \

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 \ di-​ˈspi-​kə-​blē How to pronounce despicable (audio) , ˈde-​(ˌ)spi-​ \ 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 Two became literal poster boys for the despicable event: One for walking off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s official lectern, the other for posing shirtless while seated in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair on the Senate floor. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Man wearing horned headdress during U.S. Capitol rampage arrested, along with 2 others," 9 Jan. 2021 Falsely claiming election fraud and praising even his most despicable followers is simply what the man does, and has done for the past four-odd years. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "The 2 Tweets That Got Trump Banned Were Far From His Worst," 8 Jan. 2021 Aiding the enemy by harming other captives was considered one of the most despicable acts that a P.O.W. could commit. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, "The Veterans Organizing to Stop Trumpism," 18 Dec. 2020 Opposing Hughie and Billy is one of the most intensely despicable characters ever to appear on TV: the evil supe Homelander, played so brilliantly by Antony Starr that every sentence out of his mouth sounds like a lie. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Brilliant, Scabrous Satire of The Boys," 30 Nov. 2020 This from a man who was found responsible for one of the more despicable acts in our lifetime. Robin Abcarian Los Angeles Times (tns), Star Tribune, "What price should Jeffrey Toobin pay for his indecent Zoom exposure?," 21 Oct. 2020 The final third of this movie takes being an [unprintable] to surprisingly despicable places. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Uncouth, Cranky and Rude: Movies in 1988 Were a Far Cry From Today," 2 Oct. 2020 Bush’s next nominee, the quiet and unassuming Clarence Thomas, proved as controversial as Robert Bork, with Democrats once again engaging in despicable character assassination against the nominee. Mario Loyola, National Review, "Fill the Supreme Court Vacancy Now," 22 Sep. 2020 The White House even produced a memo attacking the expertise of the nation's leading infectious disease physician, Anthony Fauci, in a despicable attempt to sow further distrust. The Editors, Scientific American, "Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for despicable

Time Traveler

The first known use of despicable was in 1553

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Statistics for despicable

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Despicable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for despicable


How to pronounce despicable (audio) How to pronounce despicable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of despicable

somewhat formal : very bad or unpleasant : deserving to be despised


de·​spi·​ca·​ble | \ di-ˈspi-kə-bəl How to pronounce despicable (audio) , ˈde-spik- \

Kids Definition of despicable

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

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