despise

verb
de·​spise | \di-ˈspīz \
despised; despising

Definition of despise 

transitive verb

1 : to look down on with contempt or aversion despised the weak

2 : to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful despises organized religion

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Other Words from despise

despisement \ -​ˈspīz-​mənt \ noun
despiser \ -​ˈspī-​zər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for despise

Synonyms

abhor, abominate, detest, execrate, hate, loathe

Antonyms

love

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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

She was despised as a hypocrite. I despise anchovies on pizza, and I refuse to eat them!

Recent Examples on the Web

The number of Americans who passionately support slashing Medicaid and taxes on the rich but despise Donald Trump is minuscule. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Donald Trump Has Never Been More Dangerous Than He Is Now," 21 Mar. 2018 Or for those of us who like peace and quiet, who prefer to stick to schedules, who despise lines but love personal space. Ana Veciana-suarez, miamiherald, "Buckle up! Air travel has become turbulent in more ways than one," 18 June 2018 As any Patriots fan will attest, the commissioner despises New England. David Whitley, OrlandoSentinel.com, "NFL could use a good peacock," 3 Feb. 2018 Is that reason for someone to despise their neighbor? Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Do Airbnb properties make good neighbors? Well, depends who you ask," 28 June 2018 But the residency program appealed to his desire to reach out to those who feared or despised the police, as well as to his own evolving sense of doing good. Ben Austen, The New Republic, "How one American city chose to tackle crime, combat racism, and reckon with the legacy of police brutality," 21 June 2018 This is why people like Johnson despise the house sparrow, which, like the starling, was introduced from England. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The feathers are flying in the battle between bluebirds and their killers," 2 May 2018 Ironically, the solution to Italy’s problem with migration lies in the very thing Italy’s new populist government most despises—a stronger European Union. Aryn Baker, Time, "How One Migrant Ship Became a Symptom of a Sick Europe," 12 June 2018 Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century. John Flesher, Detroit Free Press, "Feds may drop gray wolf from endangered species list," 14 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for despise

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for despise

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

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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 \
despised; despising

Kids Definition of despise

: to feel scorn and dislike for

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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

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