despise

verb
de·​spise | \ di-ˈspīz How to pronounce despise (audio) \
despised; despising

Definition of despise

transitive verb

1 : to look down on with disrespect or aversion despised the weak
2 : to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful despises organized religion

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from despise

despisement \ di-​ˈspīz-​mənt How to pronounce despisement (audio) \ noun
despiser \ di-​ˈspī-​zər How to pronounce despiser (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for despise

Synonyms

abhor, abominate, detest, execrate, hate, loathe

Antonyms

love

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for despise

despise, contemn, scorn, disdain mean to regard as unworthy of one's notice or consideration. despise may suggest an emotional response ranging from strong dislike to loathing. despises cowards contemn implies a vehement condemnation of a person or thing as low, vile, feeble, or ignominious. contemns the image of women promoted by advertisers scorn implies a ready or indignant contempt. scorns the very thought of retirement disdain implies an arrogant or supercilious aversion to what is regarded as unworthy. disdained popular music

despise and scorn mean to consider a person or thing as not worth noticing or taking an interest in. despise may be used of feeling ranging from strong dislike to true hatred. I despise liars. scorn is used of a deep and ready feeling of angry disgust for anything that a person doesn't respect. The sergeant scorned the soldiers who were lazy.

Examples of despise in a Sentence

He and Julie grooved to Cuban son and jazz on NPR and loved arty films, for instance; and they distrusted big business and despised tract houses, malls, and other aesthetically unpleasing byproducts of a consumer society. — Brian C. Anderson, National Review, 13 Mar. 2006 She was despised as a hypocrite. I despise anchovies on pizza, and I refuse to eat them!
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The crimes were denied, the murders hidden, the survivors judged and despised. Ivan Quintanilla, National Geographic, "These monuments honor LGBTQ history around the world," 22 June 2019 According to Korry’s wife, Patricia, Hersh then tried to essentially blackmail her husband, offering to clear his name in return for his assistance in implicating Henry Kissinger, whom Hersh despised. Scott Sherman, The New York Review of Books, "A Muckraker’s Progress," 17 June 2019 Many despise the night games and might prefer leaving the house at 6 a.m., as opposing to getting home at 1 a.m. On this matter, however, consideration would have to be given to schools reliant upon fans coming from longer distances. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Pac-12 football: The Hotline’s most radical schedule suggestion yet (play early … very early)," 6 June 2019 Madly, Fadigati begins a relationship with the very boy who despises him. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Behind the High Walls," 10 Feb. 2019 American theater teems with characters worth despising, from losers like Willy Loman and Tom Wingfield to thugs like Billy Bigelow and Stanley Kowalski. Jim Rutter, Philly.com, "People's Light's 'Morning's at Seven' delivers charm and laughs despite much family angst," 14 Jan. 2018 The graves of 2,100 members of the Nazi’s despised Waffen-SS also are at the cemetery not from the Normandy beaches where Allied troops landed on D-Day. Washington Post, "The Latest: Plane fly-over wraps up D-Day ceremony," 6 June 2019 Some mathematicians despised this mess of infinities. Quanta Magazine, "To Settle Infinity Dispute, a New Law of Logic," 26 Nov. 2013 The Election Commission was appointed by the ruling junta’s allies, while the Constitutional Court has a long history of ruling in favor of the conservative establishment, which despises Thaksin, a billionaire populist politician. Washington Post, "Thailand’s oldest party will join coup leader’s coalition," 5 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of despise

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for despise

Middle English, from Anglo-French despis-, stem of despire, from Latin despicere, from de- + specere to look — more at spy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about despise

Statistics for despise

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for despise

The first known use of despise was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for despise

despise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of despise

: to dislike (something or someone) very much

despise

verb
de·​spise | \ di-ˈspīz How to pronounce despise (audio) \
despised; despising

Kids Definition of despise

: to feel scorn and dislike for

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on despise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for despise

Spanish Central: Translation of despise

Nglish: Translation of despise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despise for Arabic Speakers

Comments on despise

What made you want to look up despise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!